Sexual Assault Response
Sexual assault is any form of sexual contact without your consent. If you have been sexually assaulted, It’s not your fault. Whether a stranger or someone you know, they never have the right to assault you. It has nothing to do with what you wore, where you were, who you were with, or whether you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. You are not to blame.
Your Healing, Your Choices.
If you need urgent medical care, call 911 or go to your local emergency department or hospital. While the decision is yours to make, getting medical care after sexual assault is important, even if you do not have serious physical injuries.
What to Expect at the Hospital
Medical care can include: treatment of internal and external injuries and pregnancy prevention. It is your choice what medical care you receive. Expect to receive full information about your treatment options and the care available to you. You can have a friend, family member or support worker stay with you at the hospital.
Forensic Medical Exam
If you were assaulted within the past 7 days, you can choose to have a forensic medical exam to collect evidence, even if you don’t want to report the assault to the police at this time. The evidence can be stored in at the hospital for 1 year while you think about your options.
A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner is on-call Monday to Friday between 8:30am-4:30pm at Squamish General Hospital. It is recommended to call ahead to the ER. These nurses are specially trained to collect physical evidence and provide compassionate medical care to survivors of sexual assault.
Support workers can explain available reporting options and offer support as you decide. In most circumstances, it is your choice whether you report the sexual assault to police. The exception to this is when someone’s safety is at risk.
If you decide to report the sexual assault to police, the police will start to investigate what happened. A victim service worker can provide support, information, and give you updates as well throughout this process. There is no time limit to report a sexual assault.
If you do not wish to report the assault directly to police, you can choose to make a third party report which allows you to provide details about the assault to police anonymously through a third party agency.
You are not alone. You may be wondering how you can help yourself in the days and weeks ahead. There are caring, confidential and non-judgmental services in all of our regional communities. Contact the Women’s Centre for support, information, and referrals.