Calgary Police Service

Sexual assault and sex crimes

Sexual assault

The Calgary Police Service is committed to supporting survivors of sexual violence and believes everyone should be treated with compassion, dignity, and respect in a professional, bias-free manner.  

The Calgary Police Service will strive to conduct comprehensive sexual assault investigations with the goal to identify, arrest and hold accountable those responsible while ensuring survivor sensitivity and privacy.  

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault occurs if you have been kissed, fondled, groped, or forced to engage in sexual activity against your will, without your permission or consent. Sexual assault is not defined by contact with any specific body part or if the individuals involved are known to each other. Sexual assault can happen to anyone and is not based on age, gender, or identity. 

What is Consent?

Consent means agreeing to sexual activity, including kissing, touching or intercourse with another person. Sexual contact with a person is never acceptable without clear and specific consent.

Consent must always be freely given. Consent requires a conscious, operating mind, capable of granting, revoking, or withholding consent to each and every sexual act. 

There is no consent when:

  •  You don't freely or directly agree to participate in the sexual activity with that person.
  •  You are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
  •  The offender abuses their position of trust, power or authority to influence and convince you to participate in sexual activity with them.
  •  You consent to engage in the sexual activity, but before or during you indicate through your words or actions you don't want to continue to participate.

To Report

If you or anyone you know has been subject to sexual assault, sexual violence, or sexual abuse the Calgary Police Service is here to support you and would like to hear from you. 

911 – Call if you or someone else is in immediate danger or if you are witnessing a sexual assault in progress. 

Non-Emergency Line - 403-266-1234 

Report in person at any local Calgary Police Service district office

If you decide at this time to not report to police but wish to seek medical assistance, registered nurses, doctors and crisis counsellors are available to offer medical treatment, emotional support and education about options for care and reporting for people who have been sexually assaulted in the past four (4) days (96 hours).

Resources

Being subjected to sexual violence is never your fault. The Calgary Police Service and its community partners are here to help and support your needs. 

Resources available to you

When Does Unwanted Behaviour Become Criminal?

In Canada, you’ll be charged with a criminal harassment offence if you’re found engaging in prohibited conduct knowingly that results in another person’s fear for the safety of their own or someone close to them. Usually referred to as stalking, criminal harassment charges include repeated but undesired attempts to communicate with a complainant.

Charges related to criminal harassment offences are usually laid against people who might wish to pursue an enforced relationship with a plaintiff. They can include sending unsolicited and unwanted phone calls or messages repeatedly, ultimately resulting in criminal harassment charges. Other examples of such criminal offence may also involve following or watching a complainant at their residence or place of work.

Although the word “harassed” has not been defined in the Canadian criminal code, the Canadian courts have usually interpreted it as being troubled, worried, or badgered as per the conduct of the accused. Repeated badgering throughout a single, extended interaction is deemed sufficient by the Canadian courts to fulfil the “repeated” element of criminal harassment offence.

If you feel you are in danger and are genuinely concerned, contact police.  

Calgary Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART)

Provides medical care and emotional support for people who have been sexually assaulted in the past seven (7) days.

Registered nurses, doctors and crisis counsellors offer medical treatment, emotional support and education about options for care and reporting for people who have been sexually assaulted in the past seven (7) days.

• medical treatment with no police involvement

• medical treatment with police involvement and collection of a sexual assault exam kit

• medical treatment with no police involvement and collection of a sexual assault exam kit and one (1) year to decide if you want to report to the police.

For more information visit the Sexual Assault Response Team website.

Prevention

While sexual assault is never the victim's fault, there are steps people can take to deter sexual offenders, such as: 

  • Discuss with your intimate partner prior to sexual engagement what is ok and what is not. 
  • Make a safe plan. Have a safe way home from a public/private venue and make sure that someone you know is aware of your plan. 
    • If you plan on using intoxicating substances do so with people you know very well or have a trusted relationship with. 
    • Don’t take drinks or intoxicating substances from people you do not know very well or have a trusted relationship with. 
    • Don’t leave your drink unattended in public venues. 

Be a Better Bystander

  • If you see poor behaviour, like someone being harassed out in public, call it out. Interrupting an interaction and saying ‘that’s not okay’ can make someone think twice about their harassing behaviour. 
  • Acknowledge that some people feel uncomfortable or intimidated in public spaces when others get too close. There’s no way for a person to tell whether a situation could escalate to unwanted contact, so give people space.
  • Calgarians can help by talking to their children and friends about healthy relationships, the importance of sexual consent and what makes for healthy sexual encounters. 

CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE

In an emergency always call 911

Non-emergency 403-266-1234