Medical Options

 

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.

If you are safe, go to the emergency room at tihe nearest hospital and ask for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE nurse). SANE nurses are on-call at the following hospitals.

Nurses are on-call 24 hours a day

Vancouver General Hospital
Sexual Assault Service
910 West 10th Avenue
Phone: 604-875-2881
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Nurses are on-call 8:00am-10:00pm

UBC Hospital Urgent Care Centre
Sexual Assault Service
2211 Westbrook Mall
Phone: 604-822-7121
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Nurses are on-call 24 hours a day

Surrey Memorial Hospital
13750 96 Avenue
Surrey, BC
Phone: 604-953-4723
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Nurses are on-call 24 hours a day

Abbotsford Regional Hospital
32900 Marshall Road
Abbotsford, BC
Phone: 604-851-4700 x646147
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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.

Medical Care

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”.

After the hospital

A counsellor at the hospital will call you within a week. The counsellor will recommend follow-up medical treatment and refer you to campus and community resources, including our office.

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.

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.