Women Sexual Assault Centre
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Getting Medical Attention


It is recommended that you have a medical examination, even if you do not have apparent injuries.  Your medical care includes any necessary treatment of injuries both internal and external, tests for sexually transmitted infections, and treatment for possible pregnancy.  You may choose a forensic examination to gather evidence that may be used in court- regardless of whether you report the assault to the police at this time.  Although a separate consent is required, this examination can be done at the same time as your general medical examination.  If you are considering reporting to police, it is helpful not to shower, bathe, douche, change or destroy clothes, or straighten up the area where the assault occurred. This could be used as evidence by the police.

Deciding which medical service is best is an individual decision that can only be made by you. Many women feel exhausted going through the medical procedures, however many also feel this process is personally validating and helps them regain a sense of control.  We encourage receiving medical attention, however if you choose not to, consider practicing protected sex to avoid passing on any possible sexually transmitted infections you may have contracted.

What happens at Victoria General Hospital?

At the hospital, you will be asked for basic personal information, such as your name, address, age, and Care Card number. Once it’s indicated that you were sexually assaulted, the triage nurse will automatically contact the SART worker, on your behalf. The SART worker should be there within a half an hour to provide you with support, information, and understanding. 

Options for Medical Attention at the Hospital
Information Only SANE or SART worker provides information to the survivor
Medication Only Required medication provided to the survivor
Medical Examination SANE performs internal and/or external examination, plus treatment for pregnancy or potential sexually transmitted infections and other medication that is necessary
Forensic without Police involvement A very thorough exam including medical examination and required medication as well as, the collection of any forensic evidence of the sexual assault, for example pubic hair, sperm, dried blood stains, and fingernail scrapings. This evidence will be held in a locked freezer at the hospital, for up to a year, or until survivor signs release form and the evidence is transferred over to the police.
Forensic with Police involvement Exactly the same as Forensic without Police, but the police will be contacted immediately and evidence will be transferred to Police custody immediately following the exam.

Blood work?
Why complete blood work if most sexually transmitted infections and a pregnancy test will not show results until weeks have gone by?  The SANE is able to establish a baseline.  A baseline provides the results of your blood from before the sexual assault.  This allows medical professionals to compare your results from before and after the assault.

Sexually Transmitted Infections
Gonorrhea and Chlamydia: If treated does not need follow-up, unless survivor reports having symptoms
Syphilis and HIV: Should be tested again in 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months
** Examinations for sexually transmitted infections should be completed within 1-2 weeks of the assault.

Purpose of Medical Follow-up

  1. To detect new infections acquired during or after the assault.

  2. To complete hepatitis B immunization, if required.

  3. To complete counseling and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections, if required.

  4. To monitor side effects and adherence to treatment.