The Calgary Police Service is committed to reducing the frequency of sexual assault through
the collaborative effort of our community partners, to providing resolution for
victims of sexual assault and hold offenders accountable.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault occurs if
you have been kissed, fondled, groped or forced to engage in sexual activity
without your permission or consent. Sexual assault is not defined by contact
with any specific body part or whether or not the victim and offender are known
to each other, nor is it based on the gender of the individuals involved.
Consent means you
voluntarily agree to participate in the sexual activity in question. The age of
consent is 16 years old. A person under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to
sexual activity with anyone else unless the individuals are within five years
of age. A person who is under the age of 14 years cannot consent to sexual
activity with another person who is two or more years older than them.
There is no consent when:
- You don't freely or directly
agree to participate in the sexual activity.
- You aren't capable of
consenting to the activity, for example, if you've had too much to drink
or have passed out.
- The offender abuses their
position of trust, power or authority and influence to convince you to
participate in sexual activity with them.
- Through your words or actions,
you don't agree to sexual activity with that person.
- You consent to engage in the
sexual activity, but then, through your words or actions you don't want to
continue to participate.
Drug facilitated sexual assault
Anyone can be drugged and sexually assaulted. Someone could easily slip
something into your food or drink without you knowing about it, whether it's
alcoholic or non-alcoholic. This may be done to make a sexual assault easier
for the offender, and you could become a victim.
There are many different sexual assault drugs out there with street
names like roofies, the "date rape" drug, easy lay, or liquid X. Because
these drugs take several forms including tablets, capsules, pills and clear
odorless liquids, it is difficult to know if a drug has been put into your
drink. Some of these drugs can cause death when mixed with alcohol.
If you've been drugged you may feel:
- sick to your stomach
- overly drunk
Or you may experience the following:
- loss of coordination
- inability to protect yourself from an attacker
- loss of memory
If you feel any of these symptoms, or if your drink looks, smells or
tastes different, stop drinking and call 9-1-1 for medical help and police.
Protecting yourself against sexual assault
The Calgary Police Service
urges you to be vigilant about your personal safety whether out by yourself or
with your friends. Here’s how you can protect yourself and your friends from
being the victim of a sexual assault:
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Develop a safety plan: let
someone you trust know where you are going, and when to expect you back.
- If you are suspicious of
someone, trust your instincts. Do not engage in any conversation and
proceed to the nearest safe or public place and report the incident
- Don't drink anything that has
not been opened or prepared in front of you.
- If you accept a drink from
another person, you are putting yourself at risk.
- Don't leave your drink alone or
with other people. Take it with you.
Reporting sexual assault
You can report a sexual assault in three ways.
- If you see a sexual assault in progress
call 9-1-1. You can also call the Police Non-Emergency line at
403-266-1234 and officers will be sent to investigate no matter when the
offence occurred. Depending on the circumstances, an investigator from the
Sex Crimes Unit may complete the investigation.
- Go to a police station or community
station. Depending on the nature and time the sexual assault occurred you
may be asked to attend the hospital with the police or you may be asked to
write out a statement at the police station. In either case a police
officer will begin a criminal investigation. It is important to keep the
statement and file number for your reference.
- Go to the hospital. If you have been
sexually assaulted within the past 72 hours, attend the Sheldon M. Chumir
Health Center (age 14 and up) or the Alberta Children’s Hospital
(age 13 and younger.) If you attend the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Center
tell the Urgent Care nurse you have been sexually assaulted and you will
be treated by medical staff from the CSART (Calgary
Sexual Assault Response Team). CSART will attend to your medical
and emotional needs. CSART does not automatically report the assault to
You can choose whether you
want the police to get involved:
- If you do not want police involved, the medical staff will assess
your injuries, treat your medical needs and test for sexually transmitted
- If you decide to report the assault to police, you will still receive the
medical attention required and CSART will call the police for you. Part of
your medical care may involve collecting evidence from your body (a
'sexual assault kit') to give to police, and a police investigator will
follow up with your case.
- You can decide whether you want police involved at a later date and receive medical and
emotional care while having a sexual assault kit completed. This kit
remains the property of Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse for up to
one year. At any time prior to the end of the one year, you may consent to
release the kit to police to begin a criminal investigation, or you may
decide to have the evidence destroyed. These details will be explained to
you at the hospital.
To help the police gather
evidence, do not:
- shower or bathe
- change or throw away your
- wash your hands or comb your
- take any drugs or alcohol
- disturb the area of the assault
Please note that you can
call the police at any time. It's never too late to get the police involved.
However, the sooner you alert them, the easier it is for them to collect the
evidence needed to lay charges or proceed with an investigation.
Resources for victims
Please see the Information Guide for Vicitims
of Sexual Assault provided by the Government
The Calgary Police
Service's Sex Crimes Unit partners with the following organizations: