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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I Report Abuse of Sexual Assault, Harassment, Bullying etc?

Whether the abuse happened to yourself or a friend, every report matters. Sharing information about abuse can help us understand where it happens, why, who does it, and who suffers it. This can help us prevent it.

Reporting also creates a time stamped record for you to keep. This documentation can help you in the future if you ever want to take further action.

 

What type of abuse/harassment can I report to this database?

We accept any reports of any non consensual behavior, including but not limited to:

  1. Sexual Assault
  2. Rape
  3. Harassment
  4. Sexually Transmitted Infection by malicious or wrongful intent 
  5. Bullying
  6. Assault/Aggressive Behavior

Some of these abuses are explained below:

A. ‘Sexual assault’ includes all unwanted sexual touch and contact especially involving one’s breasts, bottoms or genitals. It is common for survivors to feel confused or unsure about whether or not an assault/harassment was ‘bad enough’ to report or they might wonder if an assault was perhaps just a ‘terrible misunderstanding’ or ‘maybe I led them on and it was my fault’. At UsToo, no sexual assault or sexual harassment is too small or insignificant to report. We simply join you with others who have made similar reports about your shared aggressor. If no one else reported this aggressor to our database, then you will not get a match, that’s all. Some examples of sexual assault are detailed below:

  • ‘I was at work and a colleague pat my buttock as I walked by’.
  • ‘I woke up remembering not too much except for being carried by my aggressor. Then I vomited. Then all I remember is the aggressor’s fingers inside my body.’
  • ‘When I was fifteen, my teacher/parent/sibling fondled my genitals and/or coerced me to fondle theirs’.

B. ‘Sexual harassment’ is defined in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 as ‘an unwelcome sexual advance’, ‘an unwelcome request for sexual favours’ or ‘other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’, examples of sexual harassment are detailed below:

  • Demanding hugs, invading personal space, unnecessary physical contact,
  • Derogatory language and comments toward women (or men, depending on the circumstances), or sex-specific derogatory names;
  • Leering or cat-calling;
  • Displaying or circulating pornography, sexual pictures or cartoons (including online);
  • Sexual jokes, rough and vulgar humour related to gender, sexual or gender-related comments, or conduct used to bully a person;
  • Unwanted propositions of physical intimacy, demanding dates or sexual favours;
  • Requiring an employee to dress in a sexualized or gender-specific way;
  • Threats to penalize a person who refuses to comply with a sexual advance.

C. Sexually transmitted infection by an infected person who knew they were infected with an STI by a medical report and failed to alert their sexual partner. This can be considered a crime in some cases. Common Sexually transmitted infections include: HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea, Hepatitis, Herpes, HPV, Syphilis etc.

How does Reporting work?

Here’s what happens when you submit a report:

  1. A survivor anonymously submits a report about abuse that happened to themselves or a friend.
  2. You receive a time stamped, PDF copy of their report.
  3. Our database searches for another report that identifies the SAME aggressor or location you did. We notify you when there is a match in our system.
  4. Survivors can choose to discuss their report with an UsToo referred lawyer or therapist.

 

Are there any legal implications when I submit my report to the UsToo Database?

Yes, submitting a claim to our database comes with a few caveats.

Your communications to our database form an electronic record. This record can constitute evidence in any court proceedings you are involved in.

If you disclose your identity to another survivor, or if we are forced to disclose limited information by court order, they or a prosecutor working on their case may want to call you as a witness in court proceedings. This may involve a legal summons by a court. You may also be contacted by police investigating their case.

Without my consent, will anyone see my information?

Except under exceptional circumstances, no. We may be ordered by a court to disclose some information, but we only collect the limited information you see in our forms. 

We may remove anything linking the data to you, and aggregate it with other data to analyze the different issues we examine. This analysis may be communicated to government, private companies, or the public. This cannot be used to identify you.

What if I don’t know my aggressor’s name?

You may submit your report even if you do not know your aggressor’s identity.  We share with you statistical data given by other survivors who submit the same location/business/person related to abuse that you did.

I was sexually assaulted/abused or harassed thirty years ago, can I still report this assault to the database?

Yes, we encourage you to.

There is no time limit to reporting an aggressor to our database. That said, time limits may influence your legal options in accordance with the laws in the area where you live.

When and how will I be contacted?

You will be emailed with a time stamped copy of your report.

You will be emailed with report trends about your case, and when a survivor with whom your report matches has identifies a professional they are working with, so that the professional can link your two cases if you choose.

Can I make a report anonymously?

All reports are anonymous. You will only be asked to provide an email address for us to reach you.

If I was sexually assaulted/abused multiple times, how should I report my aggressor(s) to the database?

If multiple perpetrators were involved in one assault, you may submit one report.

If you were assaulted multiple different times, by different people, please submit different reports for each incident.

How do you deter false reporting?

Falsely accusing someone of a criminal offence is a crime.

We cannot control what other people say, but users may report other users who are acting inappropriately.

Can I delete, update, or edit the information in my report?

We highly recommend saving your report, even if you don’t plan on using it in the near future. A full copy of your report is not kept, but some elements remaining in the system can be deleted upon request by contacting admin@ustoo.ca.