Sexual Violence

Unfortunately we see and hear in the media about many types of violence. Violence is an issue of power and control. Violence comes in many forms and results in many types of harm such as physical, psychological, sexual, emotional, and financial to name a few. This web page focuses on information and resources about sexual violence.

Why is it important to talk about sexual violence?

  • Communities must work together to provide education and information about the negative effects of abuse on both the victim and on children who witness the abuse of power.
  • One important concept is the issue and understanding of consent.

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What is consent?

Consent is the voluntary agreement in a relationship (where there is equal power) to engage in a particular sexual act. There is a lack of consent when:

  • The victim/survivor has protested in any way at any time (by words, gestures, conduct or by any other means)
  • It is given by another person (someone other than the victim/survivor)
  • The victim/survivor is incapable of giving consent due to their mental ability, age or impaired judgment
  • The perpetrator has manipulated the victim/survivor's consent in any way (through intoxication, coercion or threats)
  • The perpetrator has abused their position of trust, power or authority

(Material Adapted from the Canadian Federation of Students of Ontario)

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What services are offered at the Health Department Sexual Health Clinic Services for Sexual Assault Victims?

We will:

  1. Provide sexual health clinic services, phone support and information.
  2. Offer the emergency contraceptive pill; sexually transmitted infection testing and/or immediate preventative treatment; HIV testingpregnancy testing and counselling - all free of charge.
  3. Assist survivors to understand and clarify their options and choices regarding medical treatment, reporting to police and any other issues identified.
  4. Provide information and referrals to other resources and appropriate agencies.
  5. Provide follow-up sexual health care as soon as possible upon referral.

Procedures:

If the survivor chooses specific clinic services, a public health nurse, nurse practitioner or a physician will provide:

Emergency Contraceptive Pill

The Emergency Contraceptive Pill is an effective means of preventing pregnancy if given within five days of unprotected intercourse.

Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing and Treatment

  • Sexually transmitted infection education for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HIV.
  • Preventative treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea and incubating syphilis.
  • Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea can be offered two weeks following the abuse/assault if the survivor wishes.
  • Serological testing for syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV can be offered three months after abuse/assault.
  • Hepatitis A & B vaccineis available.
  • HIV counselling and testing.

Pregnancy Testing

  • Baseline pregnancy testing is available, as well as repeat testing two weeks following the abuse/assault.
  • Comprehensive pregnancy counselling is provided with each result. Options are discussed and survivor is supported in her decision. Referrals are provided for therapeutic abortionadoption and prenatal care.

Short-term Supportive Counselling

  • Brief supportive counselling is provided to survivors with referrals for long-term therapeutic individual and group counselling.
  • Survivor’s safety is assessed with each interaction.

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