I’ve Been Recently Sexually Assaulted

At any point, you can call our access line (250-383-3232) to find out what your options are.  We want you to know that what happened to you was not your fault and there is support for you.

Below you will find more information about what is available for you.

What is sexual assault? 
What support is available? 
Should I receive some medical care? 
Should I report this to the police? 
Is follow-up support and counselling available? 

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is any form of sexual contact without your consent. Consent is a mutual, verbal, physical, and emotional agreement that happens enthusiastically, without manipulation, threats, or coercion.

Sexual Assault can happen to anyone.  You can be sexually assaulted by a partner, trusted friend, close relative, complete stranger, etc… There’s no such thing as a “typical” sexual assault.

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What support is available?

If you have been sexually assaulted within the last 7 days, you have access to the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).  The SART  team is available to anyone (all genders) 13 years old and over.  The SART team is available 24/7 and can identify and explain your options, as well as provide you with support, medical care, information and referrals.  The Sexual Assault Response Team is comprised of a support worker from the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, a specially trained Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) and, if you choose, the police.  The SART team can meet you at the Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic, Victoria General Hospital or a police station.

There are 3 ways to access this team, either:

  • Call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line:  1-888-494-3888  ( to connect with the SART team who can connect you with the Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic)
  • Go to the Victoria General Hospital (VGH) emergency room department
  • Go to your local police stations in the greater Victoria Area
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Should I Receive Some Medical Care?

Please note: If you have any urgent injuries, go to the hospital emergency room.

After experiencing a sexual assault, it is strongly encouraged that you receive some sort of medical attention, even if you do not have apparent injuries.  Deciding which medical service is best is an individual decision that can only be made by you.  You are in control of this process.

If you have been sexually assaulted in the last 7 days… a specially trained Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) can provide medical care, which can include any necessary treatment of injuries, tests for sexually transmitted infections, and for some survivors, treatment for possible pregnancy.

If you have been sexually assaulted in the last 3 days… you also have the option of having a forensic medical examination to gather evidence that may be used in a police investigation- regardless of whether you report the sexual assault to the police now or at a later time. With your consent this examination can be done at the same time as your general medical examination.

Medical and/or forensic care can happen at the Victoria General Hospital or the Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic.  After consulting with Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE), together you can decide which location will best meet your needs.

Please note: If you are considering reporting to police, it is helpful not to shower, bathe, douche, change or destroy clothes, or straighten up the location where the sexual assault occurred. This could be used as evidence by the police.  However, if you have done any of these things that is completely normal and does not mean there isn’t evidence that can be collected.

If you have been sexually assaulted more than 7 days ago… it is still important to receive some sort of medical care through your family doctor or Island Sexual Health (250-592-3479).

Click here to find out more about what happens at the hospital…

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Should I Report this to the Police?

In most cases*, it is entirely your decision if you want to report a sexual assault to police.  It is not uncommon to have mixed feelings or feelings of anxiety, uncertainty or fear about making a police report.  Someone from the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre can provide you with information about your options for reporting.  If you choose to make a report someone from the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre can accompany you to the police.

If you are  not sure or do not want to make a report now, but you might in the future, it is helpful to write everything down that you can remember about the sexual assault.  If you have questions or just need someone to explain what reporting to the police may look like, please call our Crisis and Information Line: 250-383-3232.

Click here to find out more information about your options for reporting 

*Exceptions include child protection issues or public safety concerns.

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Is Follow-up Counselling & Support Available?

Yes, the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre offers follow-up counselling and support to women and all [trans] survivors over the age of 13 years old.  If you are a cisgender man who has experienced a sexual assault, you can access follow-up support, victim services and counselling at the Men’s Therapy Centre. The Men’s Trauma Centre also provides counselling to [trans] survivors.

After experiencing a sexual assault, survivors may feel a wide range of emotions from anger to self-blame to fear.  Being able to talk to someone about your experience and be believed  is extremely important. Getting counselling at this time is one way of acknowledging what has happened to you, beginning the process of healing and regaining a sense of control over your life. You deserve and may need the support of a skilled counsellor who can help you take the time required to heal from this experience.

Research shows that the sooner a survivor can speak of their experience in a supportive environment, including with family, friends, and/or a professional counsellor, the more rapid and thorough the healing process. However, it is also not uncommon to want forget what happened and try to move on.  Whenever you are ready, help is available through VSAC (250-383-3232).

The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) can connect you with follow-up support and counselling or you can call our access line to access services 250-383-3232.

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