When it comes to adults reporting or pursuing charges for sexual assault or abuse, the choice is completely yours. There is no time limit, so you can take your time to make this decision. This section is intended to provide helpful information for those who have decided to report, and those who are still deciding.
Note: Sometimes reporting is not an option; it is required by law. This is the case for any person who is considered to be vulnerable, including:
Below you will find information about what reporting options exist, and how to report.
Reporting means contacting police or RCMP and telling an officer what happened. This is often done to begin an investigation that may lead to charges being laid against the person who caused harm.
To make a report, you will write a statement that includes your name, and an officer will seek to gather evidence. After a report has been made the officer (in collaboration with the Crown) will determine whether or not there is reasonable likelihood that a charge could lead to a conviction. If there is reasonable likelihood, charges will be laid and a court process will begin. If not, no charges will be laid, however the report will remain on file.
If you do not want to go through the legal or court processes, you can still file a report, and a record of the sexual assault will remain on file in case you choose to pursue it at a later date
If you feel that your employment, working conditions, prospects for promotions or earnings, living accommodations, or access to public services are being affected by sexual harassment, you have options. You can speak with your employer, who has a responsibility to address the issue. And if your employer doesn’t address the issue, you can file a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
Because sexual harassment falls under human rights law and not the Criminal Code of Canada, complaints regarding sexual harassment must be reported to the Human Rights Commission. Each province has its own Human Rights Commission, so Alberta residents will contact the Alberta Human Rights Commission by calling either the Northern or Southern Confidential Inquiry Lines.
Making a police report or going to court can be confusing, scary, and triggering. Our Police and Court Support program is designed to help people through this process, whether they are a client at SACE or not.
The SACE Police and Court Support program offers the following supports for adults and youth ages 16+:
Our goal is to ensure that people have the information they need to decide whether to report, and to provide consistent specialized supports throughout the court process and after.
Email us to access all or part of these services
In addition to the above services, the following resources may be helpful for people going to court:
How to Make a Complaint to the Department of Justice
if victim’s rights are infringed upon or denied
How to Apply for Victims of Crime Benefit Fund
Support is available if you have experienced physical or emotional harm as a result of a crime.