We are here to help you. You are not alone and what has happened to you is not your fault.
If you have experienced sexual assault or intentional relationship violence of any sort within the past 7 days, you can access our Forensic Nursing Services at most emergency rooms across the island (see locations below).
Our services are strictly confidential but, with your consent, we can help you communicate with legal services as well as provide medical assistance.
Our nurses are compassionate and knowledgeable and can help you navigate this difficult time. With our nurses, you can make informed decisions about your health and situation in a safe and comforting space. Our services are strictly confidential. You will be heard and you will be cared for.
Learn about the Forensic Nursing services available at Island Health by watching the videos below.
- Introduction to Forensic Nursing
- The Patient Experience
- 3 Options for Care
- Forensic Nursing at Island Health
Forensic Nurse Examiners can see survivors up to seven days after a sexual assault or domestic violence, and can provide the choice of three care options:
- Medical care. SAFE is not performed and no police report is filed.
- Medical care and SAFE; this includes the documentation of physical injuries and forensic sample collection. The forensic samples are stored for one year so survivors have time to decide what they would like to do. No report to RCMP/Police by an FNE.
- Medical care and SAFE, where forensic samples are provided to RCMP immediately, with the survivors consent.
With your consent, we can also:
We see people of all genders and ages, who have or may have experienced sexual, interpersonal or intentional violence:
- perform forensic exams with collection of forensic samples for evidence
- liaise with legal system - we will contact the police and parents ONLY if you want us to
- provide medication, emergency contraception, and immunization
- provide referrals for follow-up care
For immediate support or if you would like to speak to someone about your experience, contact the Vancouver Island Crisis line at 1-888-494-3888.
Where to find us:
Forensic Nursing Services are offered through the Emergency Departments across the Island:
- Campbell River General Hospital
- Cowichan District Hospital
- Chemainus Urgent Care Centre
- Lady Minto Hospital
- Ladysmith Urgent Care Centre
- Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
- Port Hardy Hospital
- Port McNeill Hospital
- Tofino General Hospital
- Victoria General Hospital
- Victoria Sexual Assault Centre
- West Coast General Hospital
- Oceanside Health Centre
- Comox Valley Hospital
If you are able, please try to do the following before coming to the hospital:
- 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
Do not worry if you have done any or all of the above, it is still important to come to the hospital for care.
Sexual assault and relationship 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