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Sexual or Domestic Assault

If you are the victim of a sexual or domestic assault and need assistance in reporting the crime, contact a community-based Victim Service program in your area. Community-based Victim Service programs provide emotional support, information, referrals, justice system support and liaison services for survivors of sexual assault, women experiencing violence in a relationship and children and youth who have experienced violence.

Some programs also provide support to survivors of violence who have specific needs, such as adult male survivors and survivors from Aboriginal and multicultural communities.

If you are a victim, when you go to the police to make your report, you may want to bring a friend or a crisis counsellor for moral support. Many police officers encourage this if talking about the crime is difficult for you.

What Happens When You Report

If you are reporting a sexual assault, the police will want you to give a detailed account of what happened, whether you are a victim or a witness. This can be very difficult, but remember that your words are the most important evidence the police have.

If you go to a hospital or clinic, the nurse or doctor will tell you about your choices for care. These choices include a check for injuries, medications for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, and forensic evidence collection. You decide what you would like them to do.

In a sexual or physical assault, there may be physical evidence which can help to identify the accused or support your allegation. If you choose to report a sexual assault to the police, a medical forensic examination can be conducted and the evidence will be collected and submitted to the police. If you are unsure if you want to report a sexual assault, a medical forensic examination can still be conducted and the evidence may be collected and stored so that if you decide to report the sexual assault the evidence will be available for the police.

The police will collect evidence such as hair samples, bodily fluids or other evidence on your body or clothing. Although this may be very difficult for you, it is important that the police get the evidence for their investigation. This may include:

  • making notes about any injuries
  • taking photographs of injuries
  • collecting physical evidence such as clothes and medical samples.

The collection of evidence means it is especially important to report a sexual assault as soon as possible.

Support Services for Victims

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