Get medical help after a sexual assault.
You may need medical attention even if you don’t have visible signs of injury.
If you have been drugged, choked, strangled or have difficulty breathing, swallowing or speaking, go to the nearest hospital immediately.
It’s your choice whether to go to the hospital. We are here to help, whatever you decide.
Call us at 604-822-1588 (Mon to Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm) for support.
Before you go to the hospital
If you have been sexually assaulted and decide to go to the hospital, you do not have to alone. Ask someone you trust to go with you and call us at 604-822-1588. We are open on Mon to Fri from 8:30am-4:30pm to get support and explore your options. We can arrange safe transportation and meet you at the hospital.
At the hospital
When you go to the emergency room, a nurse will ask you questions. Tell them about your health and ask to see a SANE nurse. The nurse will take you to a private room in the hospital and the SANE nurse will arrive within 45 minutes.
Once they arrive they will explain your medical and legal options. You have the right to choose. The nurse will support your choices, regardless of what you decide.
Remember, you have the right to say “no” or change your mind at any time.
With your consent, the SANE nurse can examine you from “head-to-toe”. The nurse will:
- treat your injuries
- offer emergency contraception sometimes referred to as “Plan B” or the “morning after pill”
- offer medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
The nurse may recommend that you see a doctor depending on your medical needs.
Collect Forensic Evidence
Whether or not you decide to make a police report, the nurse can document your injuries in a medical-legal report and collect forensic evidence. This gives you the option to make a report in the future.
With your consent, the nurse will:
- take blood and urine samples
- take swabs from various parts of your body
- photograph your injuries and clothing as evidence
The nurse will give the evidence to the police. If there is a trial, the nurse can also testify in court as an “expert witness”.
Store Forensic Evidence
You can choose to store the collected forensic evidence even if you do not make a police report. The hospital will store the evidence for one year, so you have time to decide. If you decide to make a police report within a year, the nurse will give the evidence to the police. If there is a trial the nurse can also testify in court as an “expert witness”.
If you don’t know what to do
Call us at 604-822-1588 (Mon to Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm) to explore your options.