How to Get Help after a Sexual Assault

One of the first things some survivors of a sexual assault do is to ensure their physical and medical well-being. Some people who have experienced sexual assault also need to talk with someone who has a knowledge-base about the issues.

Avalon SANE Response Line

Phone: (902) 425-0122

Avalon Centre provides the Avalon SANE Response Line. After an immediate sexual assault (one that occurred within the past 7 days) callers can reach an on-call Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner by calling the Response Line.

  • Services for all ages and genders
  • Confidential and non-judgmental support
  • Information regarding options and supports
  • Medical care and/or collection of forensic evidence at the hospital (up to 120 hours after a sexual assault has occurred).

After Hours Response Line Nurses Do Not:

  • Assist with the police investigation beyond collection of forensic evidence
  • Give statements to the police or assist victims with giving a police statement
  • Respond to the crime scene or the victim’s home

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program HRM

The SANE Program is funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Health, and coordinated by Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner is a Registered Nurse who has advanced training and education in forensic examinations of sexual assault victims.

The SANE Program is a partnership with the IWK Health Centre, the QE II Health Sciences Centre, the Dartmouth General Hospital and the Cobequid Community Health Centre. Through this initiative, on-call SANEs will provide immediate care and conduct forensic examinations of victims of sexual violence.

The SANE Program provides:

  • Emergency response, 24 hours a day, seven days a week;
  • Response to the emergency departments of the IWK, QEII, Dartmouth General Hospitals and the Cobequid Multi-Service Centre, usually within the hour;
  • Services to females, males, Trans and gender non-identified persons of all ages;
  • Expert testimony in a court of law;
  • Supportive follow-up for victims;
  • Storage of forensic evidence for six months.

The SANE Program does not provide:

  • Transportation;
  • Medical services outside the hospitals;
  • Medical treatment to anyone other than victims of sexual violence.

> > > Click for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE) Outside of HRM


Police/Emergency 911

You always have the option of calling the police immediately if you have been sexually assaulted. They will respond, take a statement from you, and proceed to investigate your complaint. They will also take you to the hospital if you would like to go, and you may request that they call the Avalon Centre on-call SANE to meet you at the hospital or police station. They should also refer you to Victims’ Services.

What about Support Services?

It is natural to have a sense of powerlessness and fear after sexual assault. In the process of rebuilding a sense of safety it is important to feel, and know, that it is your choice as to whether or not you tell someone about your sexual assault, and who you choose to tell..

Avalon Sexual Assault Centre provides:

  • Individual counselling
  • Support and therapy groups
  • Court support
  • Advocacy/support/referral
  • Confidential, non-judgmental, free of charge services

Anyone can call 902-422-4240 for phone support

Halifax Regional Police Victim Services provides:

  • Emotional support
  • Help with police information if charges have been laid
  • Referrals to programs in Halifax Regional Municipality for victims of crime
  • Phone: 902-490-5300
All Emergencies 911
QEII Emergency Department 902-473-3383
Dartmouth General Emergency Department 902-465-8333
IWK Emergency Department 902-428-8050
Cobequid Multi-Service Centre Emergency 902-864-0234
Halifax Sexual Health Centre
(HSHC provides: Non-Emergency Medical Treatment, STD/STI Testing, Pregnancy Testing, HIV Testing, Emergency Contraceptive Pill)
24/7 SANE Response Line 902-425-0122
Police and RCMP Emergencies 911
Halifax Regional Police (non-emergency) 902-490-5020
(general inquiries) 902-490-5016
Public Prosecution Services (Crown Attorneys) 902-424-8734
Department of Justice, Regional Victims’ Services 902-424-3307
Halifax Regional Police Victims’ Services 902-490-5300
RCMP Victims’ Services 902-865-6649
Bedford/Sackville Mental Health 902-865-3663
Family Services Association 902-420-1980
Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia 902-423-3607
Mental Health Mobile Crisis Telephone Line 902-429-8167
Mental Health Services
– Provincial Office 902-424-4232
– Abby J. Lane 902-496-2539
– Bedford/Sackville 902-865-3663
– Dartmouth 902-464-3116
– Halifax County 902-434-3263
– IWK 902-464-4110
– Windsor 902-792-2042

Remember, if you are sexually assaulted it is not your fault.
No one asks for, invites or deserves to be sexually assaulted.