What Now?


You or someone close to you has survived a sexual assault or long-term sexual abuse.

What now?

If you live in Canada, the most important thing for you to know is that there is no statute of limitations for reporting a sexual assault or sexual abuse. In more precise terms, there is no maximum period of time, after the event, that legal proceedings based on those events may be initiated.

So, if you were sexually assaulted or sexually abused 1 hour ago or 20 years ago you still have the right, within the Canadian criminal justice system, to file a report about the incident(s); and to have the person who assaulted or abused you brought to justice.

You can file a report at your local police station.

When you take the step to file a report you need to prepare yourself emotionally and psychologically for what is about to unfold:

  • Ask your family and close friends to support the choice you have made to file a report
  • If you have a family doctor that you trust, speak to her/him about what has happened to you. Ask for a referral to a counselor or therapist that can provide you with the necessary support services, which may involve individual or group therapy
  • If you do not have a family doctor visit a local medical clinic in your community to get a referral for support services
  • Contact a rape crisis centre or hotline in your area
  • Ask your local police to put you in touch with the Victim Services representative for your area

Survivors Guide will provide you with links to agencies and services that may be able to assist you with making your choices, and we welcome suggestions from other survivors.

Always remember that you may have been victimized by sexual violence, but by searching for help you have started your healing.

Survivors Guide

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