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Sexual Assault Service

We provide care to anyone 13 years or older who has been sexually assaulted within the past 7 days.


Where to go

If you have been sexually assaulted within the past 7 days:

  • Go to Vancouver General Hospital's Emergency Department (24 hours) 920 West 10th Avenue (near Broadway & Oak)
  • OR
  • UBC Hospital's Urgent Care Centre Koerner Pavilion, 2211 Wesbrook Mall. 8:00am-10:00pm
Our team of examiners are on-call 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

When you arrive at the emergency department ask for the Sexual Assault Service. 
  • All services are free and confidential.  
  • Bring a friend, family member,  or support person with you to the hospital. 
  • Patients attending the UBC Hospital's UCC can call the AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre, 604-827-5180, for support worker accompaniment.
  • Call Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), at 604-255-6344, for accompaniment to the VGH emergency.
  • Interpreters are available for those who are deaf or have difficulty with English.
Our services include:
  • assessment and treatment of injuries and sexually transmitted infections
  • forensic sample collection 
  • medical report for police
  • referrals to health, legal, and community-based support services. 
We know that whatever happened, it was not your fault.

If you were assaulted more than seven days ago:

  • Medical care (for physical and mental health) is available from your own doctor or nurse practitioner, a local community health clinic, walk-in clinics, and youth clinics.
  • For ongoing counselling support, or questions about the legal system, contact VictimLink.  You may also contact VictimLink by calling 1 (800) 563 0808. 
  • At UBC, you can contact AMS SASC 604-827-5180 or SVPRO at 604-822-1588.
  • In Vancouver, contact WAVAW 604-255-6344
Please also see our related services list in the sidebar.

At the hospital

What will happen at the hospital?

When you get to the Emergency Department at Vancouver General Hospital or the Urgent Care Centre at UBC Hospital, a triage nurse will ask you a few questions to assess your physicial health. The nurse will then contact the Sexual Assault Service (SAS). The SAS team of 2 (an examiner and a nurse) will arrive within approximately 45 minutes. You will be escorted by the triage nurse to a safe, private room, so that you do not need to wait in a public area. 

Specially-trained nurses and doctors will care for you in a safe and supportive environment. They will explain how they can help, and will respond to any questions or concerns you might have. The team will offer you choices about your care. These choices include a check for injuries, preventative treatment for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, and/or forensic sample collection. You will decide what you would like the SAS team to do, and they will respect your decisions.

What about the police?

At the hospital, we will give you information about your legal options. It is your choice whether or not to report the sexual assault to the police. We will support whatever decision you make. If you choose to report to the police, we can collect forensic samples and summarize our findings in a medical legal report. If the case goes to court, we can testify (tell the court about the medical findings).

After the hospital

What happens after you leave the hospital?

The SAS team will give you information about commonly experienced feelings, thoughts, and responses to sexual assault. We will also give you some recommendations for follow-up medical care. The Sexual Assault Service counsellor will call you within a week to see how you are doing, answer any of your questions, and offer you one-to-one counselling (if you think it would be helpful).  You can also call the counsellor at any time if you want support or want to book an appointment.  You do not have to deal with this alone.  

The Sexual Assault Service Counsellor can be reached at:  604-875-3225  (Monday to Thursday)

Being sexually assaulted may challenge one’s sense of self, safety and wellbeing. There is no right or wrong way to react or respond to a sexual assault. Survivors react differently as each person and each situation is unique.

We respect your decision of whom you may wish to talk to - family, friends, professionals, support services, and/or the police. We also respect your decision not to talk about the assault with anybody.

The following are a few common reactions people may experience after being sexually assaulted. All reactions are normal but we know normal does not mean easy. You may experience different symptoms or thoughts at different times.

  • Disbelief or denial (it was just a bad dream, maybe it didn’t
    really happen, or did it?)
  • Emotional shock (numb, void of feelings, unable to cry)
  • Guilt (did I do something to make this happen, if I had only… I should have…) You are not to blame for this crime
  • Anxiety (panic attacks, difficulty breathing, feeling
    overwhelmed)
  • Fear (afraid to; go outside, be alone, around large groups, of going to sleep)
  • Powerless (will I ever feel in control of myself or my life again?)
  • Angry (at the assailant, at the people you love, at the
    people trying to help)
  • Depressed (unable to get out of bed, no appetite, no/
    low motivation, exhausted, isolated)

If you are in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, please go to the closest hospital emergency room

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SOURCE: Sexual Assault Service ( )
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