What happens at Victoria General Hospital?

First Steps

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 hospital will automatically contact the Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE), on your behalf. When the FNE arrives, they will ask you if you would like a support worker from the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre to be present.  The support worker is there to provide you with support, information, and understanding.

Options for Medical Attention at the Hospital

  1. Information Only – FNE and/or support worker provides information to the survivor
  2. Medication Only – Required medication provided to the survivor for possible STI’s and/or possible pregnancy
  3. Medical Examination – FNE provides treatment of injuries, performs internal and/or external examination, plus provides medication as necessary
  4. Forensic without Police involvement – FNE provides a 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.
  5. 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 FNE 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 sexual 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.