Department of Justice

Sexual Assault

Dealing with Different Crimes

Victim Services

Getting Medical Attention

If you were the victim of sexualized violence, the decision to speak with a health care worker can be hard.

But a nurse or doctor can:

  • Treat you for physical injuries and provide medication to help with healing.
  • Test for sexually transmitted infections and provide any needed antibiotics.
  • Provide immunizations against Hepatitis.
  • Give you emergency birth control pills (Plan B).
  • Collect evidence of the assault by using a sexual assault evidence kit.

Early medical treatment can help to prevent HIV infection or pregnancy. Early testing can also show if you have a “date rape drug” in your system and collect better evidence of the assault.

Health care workers will not automatically report the crime to the police. That’s your decision.

Collecting Evidence: Sexual Assault Evidence Kit

If you think you might want to press charges, and someone has had intercourse with your or forced you into sex, the doctors and nurses can use a  sexual assault evidence kit to collect evidence. This kit is only available at hospitals and community health centres, including Kwanlin Dün Health Centre.

You don’t have to have the kit done: it is your decision. But keep in mind that if you do decide to report to the police, the kit can be a very important part of getting a conviction.

It is also important to get the kit done as soon as possible as much of the physical evidence is lost after 72 hours.

What’s involved in doing an evidence kit

The doctor or nurse will go through a series of steps to gather evidence such as:

  • Taking your medical history
  • Checking for injury, and possibly taking pictures of your injuries.
  • Doing a head to toe exam
  • Taking clothing as evidence.

The kit can take up to 3 hours to complete. it is important that the process be continuous. That means that once the nurse or doctor starts, they need to remain in the room with you until the exam is complete. This is important if the Kit is used as evidence in court.

This can be a difficult time as you have been through a traumatic experience. You have the right to decline any part of the process. Your doctor or nurse may ask you before they start each step, but if they don’t, you can let them know you are not comfortable, ask questions or decide you don’t want to complete that part of the exam. It is your body and it is your choice.

You have the right to have a support person with you who can help in asking questions and help you choose what options will be right for you.

If you think, that you would like to have evidence gathered by way of the Kit it is helpful to know:

  • Don’t shower or bathe beforehand.
  • Don’t brush your teeth.
  • If possible don’t pee before you get to the hospital.
  • Don’t change or destroy clothes.
  • Bring a change of all your clothes (socks, underwear, bra, pants, shirt and anything else you will want to wear) Anything you were wearing at the time of the sexual assault will probably be taken and stored with the Kit as evidence.
  • Bring some snacks along, in case you are gone for a long time and get hungry.
  • If you think you might not want to go home that night, bring an overnight bag with pyjamas, toothbrush and other things you might want or need.

Kit on Ice

You don’t have to report the assault to have the kit done. If you’re unsure about reporting, they can keep evidence from the kit for up to six months. This is called a “Kit on Ice”.

The Kit will then be stored without your name attached for up to 6-months. If you decide to go forward with the legal process within six months, the Kit will be used as evidence. If you decide to not go forward with the legal process the Kit will be destroyed.

Getting test results

You have the right to ask a doctor or nurse to test for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

A doctor or nurse will provide you with most results in 7-10 days.

The results will not be sent to your family doctor unless you consent, or if you test positive for Hepatitis B, C  or HIV.

You will be asked to come back for more STI testing and treatment:

  • Gonorrhoea/Chlamydia swabs at 4 weeks
  • Syphilis test – in 12 and 24 weeks
  • HIV tests – in 6, 12 and 24 weeks
  • Pregnancy test – in 4 weeks