Sexual Assault & Violence

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Find information and services for you or someone you know who has experienced sexual assault or intentional violence.

It’s hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are. Please know that you are not alone and what happened was not your fault. 

The majority of sexual assaults happen in the home and many occur in broad daylight. Most sexual assaults are committed by someone you know and trust.

Getting Help

If you have been sexually assaulted or experienced intentional violence, head to your nearest hospital emergency as soon as possible; you may require Forensic Nursing Services. If you want to make a police report and/or are feeling unsafe please call 9-1-1.

If you would like to speak to someone about your experience and further support, you can contact the Vancouver Island Crisis line at 1-888-494-3888.

Sexual Assault and violence includes:

  • unwanted sexual touching by anyone (partner, friend, stranger, etc)
  • sexualized Violence (vaginal, oral and or anal)
  • physical violence (such as hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, etc) from someone you know such as a partner or friend or a stranger
  • waking up and not knowing what has happened to you

Before Coming to the Hospital

If you can, try to do the following:

  • try not to  pee or poop
  • do not eat or drink anything
  • do not shower or take a bath
  • do not douche or wash your genitals
  • do not change your clothes
  • do not brush your teeth, floss, chew gum, or brush your hair

It's OK if you have done any or all of the above. It's still important to come in.

What Happens at the Hospital

Your health care is always a priority for the Forensic Nurse Examiner. Everything that happens at the hospital is your choice.  You can say “No” to any part of the following.

A Forensic Nurse Examiner will discuss and may offer you:

Depending on your condition, you might be seen by the emergency department doctor.

Reporting Sexual Assault or Violence to Police

Your care at the hospital is confidential and private. The police or your parents will only be contacted if you ask us to.

What does “Reporting to Police” mean?

Reporting to police does not mean that you will go to court or that charges will be laid. These things might happen but not always.

When you report to police they will start to investigate the incident. They will ask you questions to get as much information as possible about what happened.

The police will begin to collect samples which may be at the scene and/or from your visit to the hospital. Sample collection from your body is the job of the Forensic Nurse Examiner (if you choose). The police might talk to witnesses or other people who may have seen or heard what happened.

How soon do I need to report to police?

If you choose to report to police it is best to report as soon as possible, however, there is no time limit.

What if I don't feel safe?

Working with the police can give you some protection. The police and a support worker can also help you with a safety plan for you (and your family).

More information: Sexual assault, intentional violence and the law.


News & Events

Comfort pack donations for survivors

Comfort pack donations for survivors

Vancouver Island - The Nanaimo Forensic Nurse Examiner program received 70 pre-packed patient comfort kits from a group of six friends who are putting compassion into action.

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Mid Van Island

Forensic Nurse Examiners in Port Hardy offer specialized support after sexual assault or relationship violence

PORT HARDY — Nurses with specialized training are available to provide the extra support and compassionate care needed by anyone who has experience sexual assault or relationship violence.

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Island Map

Island Health’s Forensic Nurse Examiner Program is now available at Oceanside Health Centre

OCEANSIDE – Survivors of sexual assault and/or domestic violence in the Oceanside area can now receive medical care, sexual assault forensic examinations (SAFE), and other types of support closer to home.

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