An experience with sexual violence is traumatic and can have various effects on a survivor, regardless of when it happened. Deciding to talk about it is not easy and reactions are different for each survivor. There are many reasons why a survivor may want to keep silent.
If you are a survivor, choosing to break your silence is a courageous step. You don’t need to know what route you want to pursue, nor must you label your experience in order to receive support or report it.
If you are worried for your safety or need immediate health care, but are not sure whether you wish to make a report, Brescia strongly encourages you to take one or all of the following steps:
- Call 911
- Contact the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
- Provides you with the option of collecting physical evidence (can also be done anonymously), which may be used at a later date or not at all.
- Offers counselling support up to 1 year after an assault.
If you are safe, but not sure whether you want to make a report, consider the steps outlined in ‘Get Help & Disclose’ to help you decide how you could proceed.
Help is available and you have options.