Sexual Assault Service (SAS) - Vancouver General Hospital

What is the Sexual Assault Service?

We are a specially trained team of female nurses, nurse examiners, doctors and counsellors that provide care 24 hours a day.

Our services include assessment and treatment of injuries, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy prevention as well as forensic evidence collection and emotional support.

We also provide referrals to health, legal, and community-based support services.

How do I access this service? 

Go directly to the Vancouver General Hospital Emergency Department at 910 West 10th Avenue (near Broadway and Oak). Ask for the Sexual Assault Service. Our nurses and doctors are on-call 24 hours a day. 

You are welcome to bring a friend, family member or support person with you to the hospital. We can also arrange for interpreters for people who have difficulty with English. 

Female patients may arrange for a Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) Rape Crisis Centre counsellor to meet them at the hospital by calling (604) 255-6344.

What will happen at the hospital?

An emergency nurse will ask you a few questions about your health. Then the nurse will contact the Sexual Assault Service on-call staff. The nurse will take you to a safe, private room. The Sexual Assault Service staff will arrive shortly.

Our specially-trained female nurses and doctors will care for you in a safe and supportive environment. We will explain how we can help, and respond to any questions or concerns you might have.

We will offer you choices about your care. These choices include a check for injuries, medications for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, and forensic evidence collection. You will decide what you would like us to do and we will respect your decisions.

What about the police?

It is your choice whether or not to report the sexual assault to the police.

We will give you information about your legal options and 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).

What happens after I  leave the hospital? 

We will give you information about commonly experienced feelings, thoughts, and responses to sexual assault. We will also give you some recommendations for follow-up treatment. If you like, the Sexual Assault Service counsellor will call you in a few days to find out how you are doing and answer any of your questions.

How you may feel

There is no right or wrong way to feel or respond.

Sexual assault is traumatic. You may be in a state of shock and find it hard to believe this really happened to you. Some people do not remember what happened.

You may feel embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, anxious, depressed, angry or numb. Some people have nightmares, difficulty eating or sleeping, or are afraid to go outside. You may also be worried about sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, HIV, or injuries. These are common concerns after a sexual assault. You may have other concerns.

We know that whatever happened was not your fault.

Funded and/or operated by an outside party.

Vancouver General Hospital - Emergency Department

910 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 1M9
Phone: (604) 875-2881

Parking & transportation

There is pay parking available at our two visitor lots located on the VGH campus:

  • Multi-level parkade at the corner of West 12th Avenue and Laurel Street, across from the main entrance of the Jim Pattison Pavilion.
  • The Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre parking lot is located off of Laurel Street between West 12th and West 13th Avenue.

There is a wheelchair-accessible overpass from the VGH parkade at Level 4 and a crosswalk at Level 2.

 Download parking rates for VCH facilities

Eligibility

?We offer medical care and emotional support to anyone 13 or older who has been sexually assaulted within the past seven days.

We welcome women, men, and trans-gendered survivors of sexual assault. We provide care to anyone living both within and outside of BC, including visitors from outside of Canada.

Resources