What to do if you have been recently sexually assaulted
Go to a safe place and call a friend, family member, the police, a sexual assault center, or campus security.
Get support: your emotional, spiritual and physical health is important. In/near Victoria you can call:
- AVP on-campus 250-472-4388
- the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre 24-hour all-gender Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) via the Vancouver Island Crisis Line, 1-888-494-3888
- UVIC Counselling Services 250-721-8341
- Vancouver Island Crisis Line 1-888-494-3888
- KUU-US crisis line 1-800-588-8717 (Indigenous-specific crisis support)
If you have been assaulted and would like to seek medical attention, you can go to the hospital, or you can go to the Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic. For accompaniment to the hospital, or access to the clinic you can call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888 and ask to be put in touch with a SART worker (Sexual Assault Response Team). SART workers provide emotional support to survivors of all genders at any time of the day or night. The Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic is available to recent survivors of sexual assault of all genders, 13 years and older. The clinic is available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. To find out more about the clinic’s services, you can call the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre’s Access Line at 250-383-3232 to talk with a support worker to discuss options and accessing the clinic. (Note that as of April 2018 the VSAC crisis line has been discontinued and it may take a couple days to get a response to messages left on the Access Line; for immediate assistance call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line, 1-888-494-3888, and ask to speak to a SART worker).
You are entitled to complete medical care whether or not you decide to report it to the police. You can go to the hospital for a checkup after a sexual assault and you are not obligated to file a police report. A specially trained Nurse Examiner will conduct the exam.
It’s best to not consume any drugs (including alcohol) before the medical exam and/or police report. However, if you do, you can still report, obtain services, and connect with service providers.
If you want to report the assault to the police, do not wash, douche, brush your teeth, change clothes, go to the washroom, or clean up the area where the assault occurred. This may destroy important evidence. However, if you already have done any or all of these things, you can still report the assault.
There is no time limit on reporting sexual assault, but keep in mind that the sooner a police report is made, the greater the chances of obtaining evidence linking the accused to the crime.
If you are concerned that you are still in danger of further violence, creating a safety plan for yourself may be useful. Members of the SART team and Vancouver Island Crisis Line (call 1-888-494-3888) operators can assist you with safety-planning, too. Your safety and well-being is very important.
Remember— believe in yourself. You did not do anything wrong. No matter how you reacted to the assault, you did the right thing because you survived. No one invites, causes, or deserves to be sexually assaulted. You are not to blame.