Long Term Effects

  • Self-destructive behaviors: self-mutilation, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempt, disrupting all positive aspects of their life, dangerous and abusive consumption of alcohol, drugs or sex, etc.;


  • Anxiety: panic or anxiety attacks, repetitive nightmares, lack of sleep, flash-backs, obsessing over their physical appearance or their environment, etc.;

  • Eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, morbid obesity;

  • Dissociation: loss of perception of space and time, feeling detached from their body, feeling surreal;

  • Low self-esteem: isolation, negative perception of themselves or their body;

  • Phobia: fear of being touched, agoraphobia (fear of crowds), eating phobias (milk, yogurt, mayonnaise, etc.), claustrophobia (fear of small spaces);

  • Obsessive and compulsive behaviors: compulsively washing their hands, repetitive baths and showers, checking the locks, etc.;

  • Interpersonal troubles: social troubles, conflicts with others, difficulty with sexual relationships (especially with men), increased vigilance and distrust of others, affected parental functions, excessive control of themselves or their environment, etc.;

  • Sexual difficulties: anxiety about sexuality, decrease or increase in their sexual activity, disgust or aversion to everything sexual, prostitution or lifestyle characterized by domination and sexual exploitation, etc.;

  • Feeling ashamed, guilty, mean or bad. These feelings are the result of comments and negative references communicated to the child during sexual assault. Often, these comments stay in the mind of the victim until adulthood which affects their self-perception.

There are several forms of sexual assault, and it can occur with or without contact.

“Sexual assault is a sexual act, with our without physical contact, committed by an individual without the consent of the victim or, in some cases, and especially when children are involved, through emotional manipulation or blackmail. It is an act that subjects another person to the perpetrator’s desires through an abuse of power, the use of force or coercion, or implicit or explicit threats. Sexual assault violates the victim’s fundamental rights, including the right to physical and psychological integrity and security of the person (Gouvernement du Québec, 2001) .

Incest and childhood sexual abuse
Includes all sexual activity involving a minor and a person who has a role of authority, responsibility or is a parental figure to the minor.

Sexual harassment        
Any form of non-desired sexual attention or advances that are done on a repetitive basis and provoke discomfort, fear or cause the person to fear for their well-being. (Table de concertation sur les agressions à caractère sexuel de Montréal, 2008)


Observing an act of intimacy or nudity of  a person or persons without their consent. (Table de concertation sur les agressions à caractère sexuel de Montréal, 2008)


Term that desribes the behaviour of a person who displays their genitals with the goal of shocking others. This can be done online.

 Internet luring

The criminal code prohibits an adult from communicating with a minor for sexual purposes. (Sécurité publique du Québec, 2012)

Sexual tourism
This practice involves tourists travelling to have sexual relationships with locals. Behind this practice is often human trafficking and sexual slavery where the prostitutes are victims. Some of these victims are children. (Balassoupraminiane, 2001)​

 Sexual exploitation
Using a person for prostitution or to create pornography while controlling them through blackmail, intimidation and/or physical or psychological violence.

​​Juvenile pornography
Juvenile pornography includes photographic and video representations of a person under the age of 18 engaged in explicit sexual acts.

 Juvenile prostitution
 Exchanging sexual activities for money, goods or services, for reasons other than one’s own sexual or emotional needs. In Québec, it is considered juvenile prostitution when the person is under the age of 18. (Durocher et al., 2002)





Myths and prejudices

Sexual assault is an act of domination, humiliation, abuse of power, and violence mainly directed at women and children. Sexual assault means imposing attitudes, words, or gestures with sexual connotations against someone's will using intimidation, manipulation, threat, blackmail or verbal, physical or psychological violence.

Anyone can be the victim of a sexual assault regardless of age, physical appearance, cultural background, global state of health, sexual orientation, etc. Sexual assault can also happen at anytime, anywhere: in a house, on the street, at work and at any time of the day or night. Finally, there are many different relations between an assailant and their victim, as the assailant is often a friend, a boyfriend, a member of the family, an acquaintance, an employer, a colleague, a neighbour, a professional that you are consulting, or a stranger.



83% of victims were female.

The alleged perpetrators of these sexual assaults were mainly male (97%).

66% of victims were under 18.

76% 0ffenses against young victims and 61% of adult victims have been committed in a private residence.

​Myths and prejudices about sexual assault contribute not only to the difficulties experienced by victims, but also perpetuate sexual assault in our society.To learn more about common myths and prejudices, take our quiz > (quiz in french only for now)

Initial Effects

Emotional disorder: Fear, anger, distress, anxiety, etc.;
Physical symptoms: Trouble sleeping, eating disorders, different physical injuries and pains, trouble concentrating, etc.;

Sexual difficulties: STD's, negative perceptions of sexuality, disgust, sexual dysfunction, pregnancy, etc.;
Difficulty with social interaction.


​​Centre d'aide et de lutte contre

les agressions à caractère sexuel