The Path to Care
We provide specialized health care, police services and agency referrals for women and men who have experienced sexual assault within the past 7 days and recent domestic violence. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about accessing the services provided by Nina's Place:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. What happens when I go to the hospital?
A. When adults or youth who have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault present at the hospital they will be seen by the Emergency Department triage nurse and physician who will assess their health and their need for care.
- The individual will be offered the services of a specially trained Nina's Place nurse who will come in and provide individualized (one-to-one) care.
- The nurse is not in the building and will be called in. This may involve a wait of up to 45 minutes.
- You will be provided with choices of care. We believe you are the expert in your health and your care will be directed by your decisions.
Q. What happens if I take my child (aged 12 and under) to the hospital?
A. If you are a parent or guardian of a child who has told you or someone he/she has been sexually assaulted:
- Bring your child to the Emergency Department.
- You and your child will be seen by the Emergency Department triage nurse who will arrange care if there are any injuries and contact the Nina's Place on call nurse.
- The Nina's place nurse will make every effort to have your child tell his/her story only one time in a child friendly area where the doctor, police and Children's Aid Society work together.
Q. What can I expect if I bring a child to Nina's Place?
A. We will examine and collect evidence as necessary only within 72 hours of the assault.
- Arrange for doctor, police and Children's Aid Society to be present at the same time to speak with your child and give you support and information.
- Arrange short-term counselling and make referrals to community resources.
Q. How can I access services at Nina's Place?
A. The services at Nina's Place can be accessed in the following ways:
- By coming to the Emergency Department at Joseph Brant Hospital.
- By coming with a police officer. If the police were the first agency you contacted you can ask them to bring you, or they may suggest the services of Nina's Place.,
- By meeting a crisis centre worker at the hospital, if you contacted the Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) crisis line first.
- If an individual goes to another hospital in the Halton Region, she/he will first be received by the triage nurse in the Emergency Department and then assessed by a physician. Once an individual has been medically cleared, arrangements are made to have her/him transferred to Nina's Place at Joseph Brant Hospital at no cost.
What you can expect. We will:
- Listen to you
- Believe you
- Support you
- Not judge you
- Respect you as the unique individual you are
You will be offered choices of care. Care will be directed by your decisions and move at a pace that you are comfortable with.
Involving the Police
The care provided at Nina's Place can be provided with or without police involvement. If you decide to have a forensic evidence kit completed and turn your clothing over as evidence, you will be provided with clothing to wear home. If an individual decides to involve the legal system she/he can meet with a police officer and give a video statement at Nina's Place.
If you choose not to involve the police for sexual assault you can make an anonymous report by making an appointment with the charge nurse or social worker at a different time to complete the forms.
The Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Kit - What to expect
This special exam will collect evidence from areas of your body affected by the assault. It is done to provide a forensic link to the offender or the place where the assault happened. It involves a number of different tests which may include:
- Swabs from your mouth, skin, vagina or anus.
- A sample of your head hair.
- Blood samples (to test for drug and alcohol levels).
You may choose not to do some or any of these tests. We may also suggest that you give your clothing as evidence to see if there is any evidence on your clothing. We will give you clothing to wear home. Once the kit is completed, you can decide whether you would like us to turn the evidence over to the police. We can store the kit for up to six months, allowing you that time to decide if you want to involve the police. The examination takes about two hours to complete. It must be completed within 7 days of the sexual assault. It is important to remember that you can still report the sexual assault to police without having a sexual assault evidence kit done.
Forensic evidence collection from children is limited to only what is absolutely necessary based on the nature of the assault and the decision of the paediatrician.
If you have been sexually assaulted and are considering getting care at Nina's Place:
- Do not shower or bathe before coming to the hospital. Shower facilities are available at Nina's Place.
- Do bring a change of clothing.
- You are welcome to bring a support person to the hospital with you.
- We can also get the services of a support person from the Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) if you wish.
Care for children who have been sexually assaulted. We can help in the following ways:
- Examine the child and treat any injuries.
- Collect forensic evidence (only if it's within 72 hours).
- Arrange to have your child tell his/her story only one time where the doctor, police and CAS work together.
- Offer support and information.
- Offer short-term counselling.
- Refer you or your child to community resources.