New data from Statistics Canada shows more people are reporting instances of sexual assault in Saskatoon.
Data released Monday shows reports of level one sexual assaults – defined as any incident where a victim’s sexual integrity is violated – went up 42 per cent in the city in 2016.
“Level one can be any unwanted sexual contact, anything that is committed against a person without their consent,” said Heather Pocock, the assistant director of the Saskatoon Sexual Assault and Information Centre (SSAIC).
Over the year, 295 level one incidents were recorded.
Pocock said the increase could have something to do with intensified media coverage on the importance of reporting sexual assaults to the police.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more sexual assaults, but it does mean more people are reporting,” she said.
While people who use SSAIC services are under no obligation to report incidents to police, Pocock said she’s seen a slight increase in the number who do.
In 2016, there were three incidents – the same number reported in 2015 – of level two sexual assault, which involves a weapon, threats or bodily harm.
The number of level three sexual assault reports went from zero in 2015 to five in 2016.
Level three sexual assaults are defined as incidents that involve wounding, maiming, disfiguring or endangering the life of the victim.