We are here to help. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
AFTER A SEXUAL ASSAULT
You may experience feelings of shock, anger, sadness, flashbacks and fear.
You may also experience physical and emotional pain, loss of self-esteem and difficulty concentrating.
These are completely normal reactions.
myth: Someone who was drinking or drunk when sexually assaulted is at least partially to blame.
fact: Alcohol may increase the risk of sexual assault, and may make a person incapable of protecting themselves, but the perpetrator is responsible for his or her own behaviour. It is never the victim's fault.
DO find a safe place to go and tell someone you trust.
DON'T shower, bathe, change or throw away clothes, have anything to eat or drink (including drugs and alcohol) if you want evidence collected. Medical evidence should be collected as soon as possible: within 120 hours of a sexual assault.
DO seek medical attention (even if you do not wish to report the sexual assault to police). You may need treatment for injuries, potential sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and/or possible pregnancy.
DO contact the Regina Sexual Assault Centre for information and counselling. Advocates are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Reporting a sexual assault to police is a very personal choice. There is no time limit for reporting a sexual assault. Even if it happened years ago, the police can still investigate. However, reporting promptly will help to ensure that as much evidence as possible is collected. The longer the delay, the more evidence is lost. Some will be lost forever.
You may report any assault by phoning the police or going to a hospital or police station. You may call the Sexual Assault Crisis Line and request someone be there to support you at the hospital or police station. The police will start a report and you will be asked to write a statement and may be interviewed during the investigation. Some interview questions may feel uncomfortable. It is important to remember that the police need to be thorough and are trained to hear details of what happened.
If the police decide not to press charges, it is not because they didn't believe you. There may not be enough evidence to prove the charges.
Through this program, rather than being limited to the two options of "Yes, I will report to police" or "No, I don't want to report", the Third Option offers victims who go to the hospital the choice to have medical evidence collected, while giving them time to think about whether to report to police.
A physical exam will be completed by a specially trained medical professional. The evidence will be stored at the hospital for six months, or less if you ask for it to be destroyed sooner. It is turned over to police only upon your written consent or as the result of a court order.
*This program will be available to victims in 2017.
The most important thing you can do is believe what the person is telling you. Be an effective listener by doing the following:
- Do not over react. Remain calm and supportive.
- Provide the person with the opportunity to do the talking, by talking less yourself.
- Listen for what is really being said - the feelings underneath the words. Hear what is not said.
- Be aware of your own biases and feelings when offering advice. Listen objectively and accept the person unconditionally.
- Show respect through a warm tone of voice, attentive listening and an effort to understand their feelings.
- Do not ask questions that may indicate blame or judgement, such as "why were walking on that street alone?"