What to do if you are sexually abused
In Northern Nova Scotia, victims of sexual abuse should contact the Tearmann House crisis line (902-752-0132) or go directly to the Emergency Department at the Aberdeen Hospital or St Martha’s Regional Hospital. A SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) will be contacted to help you. This is a 24/7 specialized healthcare response by a specially trained forensic nursing team. There is immediate help and also follow-up. They provide education and support and collect forensic data if needed. This is a confidential service and the police will be involved only if one consents to it.
The sexual assault victim should go to the hospital within 72 hours of the assault and not shower or bathe as that would wash away evidence. A forensic physical exam is a head to toe examination of the client, and any injuries are reported. Forensic evidence such as fibres, hair and DNA will be collected and held up to 6 months if the assault is to be reported to police for prosecution. Preventative measures are taken for STD and HIV prevention.
More information about the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program can be found on the Antigonish Women's Resource Center & Sexual Assault Services Association website.
In Pictou County, additional support may be accessed at the Pictou County Women's Resource and Sexual Assault Center. http://www.womenscentre.ca/