Sexual Assault Program
The HSC Sexual Assault Program is staffed with a team of nurses, specifically trained in providing care to patients who have experienced a sexual assault. All sexual assault patients are admitted through the HSC emergency departments. The goal of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is to provide options and choices about medical care and / or police reporting, provide medications to prevent infection and pregnancy and connect patients with counseling services so they have appropriate support to transition back into the community.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual Assault and rape may be used interchangeably.
Sexual assault is:
- an act of violence or aggression involving a sexual attack either verbal, emotional or physical.
- touching in a sexual way without permission.
- forced kissing or fondling.
- forced oral, anal or vaginal intercourse (rape).
- The person who assaulted you may be a stranger, friend, partner, or acquaintance.
What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?
- If it is within five days, go to the Health Sciences Centre Emergency Department and request to see the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
- If it has been longer than five days,
seek medical treatment from your primary care provider or attend a Quick Care Clinic for medical treatment.
- Do not change your clothing, shower or bath, brush your teeth, smoke, chew gum.
What happens if I go to the hospital?
When you report to the emergency department at HSC, you will visit the triage desk and be asked why you have come to hospital. The triage nurse will then call the sexual assault nurse (SANE) who will arrive at the hospital within approximately one hour.
We encourage you to bring a support person (friend or family) with you to hospital. The nurse will help you decide the best medical care and assist you with involving the policy if needed.
Who are the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners?
- We are a group of female nurses who provide treatment to women, men and children who have been recently sexually assaulted.
- We provide options and choices about medical care and / or police reporting.
- We provide medications to prevent infection and pregnancy.
- We connect you with counseling services if you choose.
Where will I stay while at HSC?
The Sexual Assault Program offers a comfortable and safe location for patients to meet with their care team.
Is what I am feeling normal?
- You may find that you feel sad, angry or embarrassed
- You may blame yourself
- You may have changes in eating and sleeping patterns, confusion, forgetfulness, and trouble concentrating
- Thoughts of the event may flood your mind at times and cause you to cry or lash out
- You may feel physically sick and experience headaches, abdominal pain, fatigue and depression
- Even if you don’t have physical injuries, it does not mean your sexual assault is any less serious.
Other helpful resources: