85% of the time when a young person is sexually assaulted or raped it is by someone he or she knows. It could be a date, a friend, a relative or even a member of their own family. It happens in a car, at a party, at someone’s house or even your own house. Let’s be clear about this. Sexual assault is never okay and it includes any kind of unwanted sexual touching—not just forcing sexual intercourse.
- Use alcohol and drugs with caution – protect your drink when you’re in public. When you are drunk or high you can find yourself in situations out of your control. Make sure you can still take care of yourself and are able to say “no” and walk away from dangerous situations.
- Be clear – say “NO” if someone wants you to do something you are uncomfortable with.
- Trust yourself – if you feel uncomfortable at a party or with a group of people, trust your instincts and leave.
- Go with a friend – make a plan to stick together and leave together.
- Have pocket money – being able to get your own cab ride home means you can leave whenever you want.
There are three things you can do to reduce the chance of sexual assault and date rape:
- Be clear about what you want or don’t want. Mind reading doesn’t work. Say “NO” when you mean no. Tell your partner “When I say NO I mean it. STOP when I say stop.” If you say nothing your partner might think everything is okay and you want to go further. If someone says NO and you don’t stop you are committing a crime.
- Stay alert and sober – Drinking too much alcohol often leads to a sexual assault because someone can take advantage of you when you can’t think clearly. When you go to a party where there will be drinking or people are taking drugs, make sure you have someone who will be your “safety buddy” – that’s someone who will look out for you and help you to get out of dangerous situations. And remember, if you are the one asking if it’s ‘okay’, no one can legally consent to sex when they are sleeping or passed out. If the person has been drinking or is high, they might not know what they are doing and that means they don’t really have the ability to say it’s okay. If you have sex with someone who has not, or cannot, give consent, you have committed a crime.
- Trust your feelings. If you feel uncomfortable at a party or anywhere else, trust your feelings and leave. Find a friend to leave with you or call someone to come and get you.
If you have been sexually assaulted or raped you are the victim of a crime and you need to get help as soon as possible. Early medical treatment can help to prevent HIV infection or pregnancy. Early testing can also show if you have a “date rape drug” in your system. For help and treatment, call:
- The RCMP
- Your Community Health Centre
- In Whitehorse, Dawson or Watson Lake, you can go directly to the Hospital's Emergency Department.
For support, advice or counselling call:
- VictimLINK: 1-800-563-0808 - a telephone help line for victims of family and sexual violence, and all other crimes. Available 24/7
- Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or visit http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/ – A Canada-wide, toll-free, phone and web counselling, referral and information service for children and youth. Available 24/7.
- talk to a parent, a friend, a teacher, a nurse or other adult you can trust.
If you’ve been raped, it is not your fault. You’ll need support and patience. It can take a long time to recover physically and even longer to recover emotionally.