Heightened Risk Factors
Sexual assault is never okay and it is never your fault. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, however research suggests that there are certain factors that contribute to a heightened risk and certain times of the year when the incidents of reported sexual assault increase.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre reports through their CARE project that groups most likely to be targeted include Aboriginal women, sex workers, members of LGBT communities, women with disabilities, women of colour, women living in poverty, and people between the ages of 15 and 24.
Research from the Ottawa Hospital Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program identifies patterns and variations in sexual assault incidents. The research article was published in the Emergency Medicine Journal in August 2015. Their study focused on factors associated with mass gatherings with the purpose of identifying these variants to help in the development of prevention-minded policies. They found that relative frequencies of sexual assaults at mass gatherings increase during New Year's Eve, Canada Day, university frosh week and Halloween. The research also indicated that these assaults were drug-facilitated assaults committed by strangers. Based on their results, Project Soundcheck was launched in Ottawa as a community based program offering training and awareness to staff and volunteers of local music festivals to help make these festivals a safer space.