1. What to do if you have been sexually assaulted
  2. What to do if someone you know has been sexually assaulted
  3. What do if you are a survivor of child sexual abuse

1. What to do if you have been sexually assaulted

From this moment on, you have choices. You can go to the hospital for treatment. No one will call the police without your permission.

GO TO A SAFE PLACE

You can get medical attention

Attending to your physical health is important after a sexual assault. Many injuries and affects are not visible. The Brantford hospital has nurses who specialize in dealing with sexual assault. If you decide you would like to have evidence collected, a rape kit must be done within 7 days after the assault. If you want the kit done try not to shower, brush your teeth, change your clothes or go to the bathroom. These things could destroy evidence you have on your body. Having a rape kit does NOT mean that you have to go to the police. The kit can be stored until you decide how (or if) you want to proceed. Someone from the Sexual Assault Centre can accompany you to the hospital.

If you do not want to go the hospital, you can go to your family doctor or a walk-in clinic. Remember the choice is yours!

You can report to police

You may wish to report the assault to the police. You are entitled to have a friend, relative or Crisis Line Worker with you through this process. If you choose to report, a uniformed officer will take your initial statement. For more information on the legal system, check out www.courtprep.ca for youths, and the Ontario Women’s Justice Network for information on all aspects of the legal system.

You can seek support

You can call the crisis line 24 hours a day at (519) 751-3471 for support. After an assault, you might feel shocked, scared, angry, guilty, ashamed or depressed. You may also want to seek support through counselling, with a counsellor who is specially trained in sexual assault issues. The Sexual Assault Centre of Brant offers individual counselling. You can reach us through our business line at (519) 751-1164.

Remember

Remember that whatever happened, whether you know the person or not, you are not to blame. The offender is responsible for what happened. Also remember, you are not alone and we are here to help.

2. What to do if someone you know has been sexually assaulted

Supporting someone who has been sexually assaulted requires that you:

  • Listen.
  • Believe them. Tell them that it wasn’t their fault.
  • Let them know that they are not to blame.
  • Affirm that they are not alone.
  • Respect their right for privacy.
  • Encourage them to talk to someone they trust.
  • Help them identify their immediate supports.
  • Let them know they can call the Sexual Assault Centre for support.
  • Give information, not advice. Gather information on their options, empower them to make their own decisions.
  • Encourage them to get medical attention. Their personal health is important.
  • Respect and support whatever choices they make – even if it is to do nothing.
  • Keep in mind that they may experience a variety of different emotions and may cope in a variety of ways. This is normal and every person is unique.
  • Ensure them that you will keep what they have told you confidential.

3. What to do if you are a survivor of child sexual abuse

Remember the abuse was NOT your fault and what you do about it is your choice!!!

Seek Support

You can call the crisis line 24 hours a day at (519) 751-3471 for support. You may also want to seek support through counselling. The Sexual Assault Centre of Brant offers individual counselling. To set up an appointment call the business line at (519) 751-1164.

Report to the Police

You may wish to report the offence[s] to the police. You can have a friend, relative or Crisis Line Worker with you through this process. If you choose to report, it will be considered a historical assault, meaning it happened when you were a child, possibly ten or more years ago. This does not mean that the offender cannot be charged. There is no time limit on when you should report. For more information on the legal system, check out www.courtprep.ca for youths in the legal system, and the Ontario Women’s Justice Network for information on women and the legal system.

Remember

Remember that whatever happened whether you know the person or not, you are not to blame. The offender is responsible for what happened. Also remember, you are not alone and we are here to help.