Abuse (particularly in the family) is when an adult, typically a parent or caregiver, uses violence to control and/or harm a family member. The abuse can be physical, emotional/psychological or sexual. Neglect is another form of abuse. Neglect is when parents or caregivers who have a responsibility to care for a young person don’t meet their basic needs.
Living with abuse is very hard. Kids and teens in abusive situations experience a great deal of stress every day. They may feel trapped or like there’s nowhere to turn. They may not know whom they can trust.
If things have been rough at home for a long time, you may have become used to it. The abuse may feel almost normal — you accept it as just another part of your day. This can be a way of coping — if you accept the abuse as normal, it feels less upsetting. But deep down, you know that what’s happening isn’t right.
… If you’re experiencing abuse or neglect at home, you can call child protection services. Even if you’re not sure that it’s abuse or neglect, you can call child protection services for advice. You can also call them if you know someone else who is experiencing abuse or neglect.
Abuse in relationships happens when a person inflicts [harm, such as:] physical, emotional and / or sexual harm upon their partner(s). You may be navigating this if you have experienced any form of abusive behaviour within an intimate relationship. Abuse in relationships can affect anyone regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age or any other trait. It can also affect people outside of the relationship including friends, family and / or others who are close to a partner.
… [Abusive behaviour in an intimate relationship] often begins with emotional abuse and may escalate to include other types of abuse. It can start small with infrequent / low impact situations and expand over time to include more frequent / harmful situations that have greater impacts on various areas of a partner’s life.
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act done by one person or a group of people toward another that violates their sexual integrity (personal morals / boundaries / autonomy). Sexual assault is never OK, and if it happens to you, it’s not your fault.
… A person may be a victim-survivor of sexual assault if they’ve been involved in any type of sexual activity without giving their permission or saying it’s OK (otherwise known as giving consent). This includes any unwanted / forced touching of a sexual nature such as kissing, fondling, oral sex or intercourse.
Sexual assault is an act of sexual violence...committed by a person or people in order to feel power over another person. It can appear differently depending on the situation.
… Sexual assault isn’t always violent. If you say no or don’t say anything at all, and the person continues, it’s sexual assault because you never gave your permission. This is true even if you don’t resist.
Sexual assault isn’t always about sex. Sex without consent is an act of violence and aggression. It’s about power and control, and not about things like love, respect, etc. Someone who cares about you will not force you to do anything sexual without your permission.
Consent is defined as a voluntary agreement to do something. When it comes to sex (e.g. mutual masturbation, oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, sexting, other intimate contact, etc.), it’s important for everyone involved to give/receive enthusiastic consent. Enthusiastic consent means everyone is into what’s happening, and shows they’re ready through words and actions. Establishing enthusiastic consent before and throughout sexual activity means everyone is on the same page and having fun together. Remember, if consent is not given by everyone involved, it’s sexual violence.
During sexual activity, everyone present must agree willingly to everything that’s happening as you go.
… Here’s what enthusiastic consent looks like:
… each person wants to do each activity and is actively participating
… each person asks for consent to do each activity
… each person gives consent through words and actions
It’s important to remember things like silence or a nod are not enough to establish consent.
It is not consensual if a person:
… is intimidated, pressured, threatened or coerced
Keep in mind that:
… saying “yes” to one thing doesn’t imply “yes” to something else
… if you move on to something else, each person needs to consent again
… pressuring someone to change their mind is not consent