We Are Here: Women’s Experiences of the Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault

About the report

As part of our Dismantling the Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault project with YWCA Metro Vancouver, our 2018 law reform report is about why survivors often do not report through the criminal justice system – in their own words. We Are Here: Women’s Experiences of the Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault centers women’s experiences of the devastating impacts of sexual assault, which are all too often exacerbated by the legal system’s inadequate responses.

While Canadian state law is not the right path to healing and justice for all survivors, seeking legal recourse can be deeply important to some. This report aims to identify barriers in the justice system for survivors of sexual assault and inspire change so that reporting to police becomes a viable option for all those who want to pursue it.

Now is the time to dismantle the barriers to reporting sexual assault – with the voices of survivors guiding the way.

We recognize that this report focuses on Canadian state law and not on the Indigenous legal traditions that have been on these lands for many thousands of years.

Download the Executive Summary. 


The beautiful photographs in this report are by Ava Neue, Division 7 Studio.

We are grateful for the financial support of Status of Women Canada and the Notary Foundation of BC, without whom this report could not have been produced.