There is strength in community.
You are not alone.
When navigating the "what next" after experiencing sexual violence there are often many unknowns. Feeling unsure of what to do, or where to begin, is normal. Your feelings are valid.
In this digital safe space we share resources available to you as a survivor. Always remember, there is no right way to respond after experiencing sexual assault. You are in control of what happens next.
Together, we rise.
Step One: Understanding Your Rights
First and foremost, always remember that there is no "right way" to heal from sexual violence.
You have experienced something that no person should ever have to endure, but you survived.
You are a survivor.
You have options. You have rights.
Your location during the time of your assault will determine the steps you must take should you choose to report sexual violence. Regardless of location however, you have no obligation to report your assault to police unless you wish to access justice through the legal system.
If you are a survivor residing in Canada, you are protected by the Victims Bill of Rights. We expand upon this further in episodes four and five of the She Matters Podcast below.
First and foremost, we recommend seeking some form of medical attention. For assaults which took place within 72 hours (up to the last 14 days), you should immediately report to your nearest hospital. Regardless of your decision whether or not to undergo a SAEK (Sexual Assault Evidence Kit), you should seek support from a medical professional to prevent STIs, pregnancy, and to check for internal injury. Your nearest hospital or medical centre can also refer you to a social worker or counselling services. We explore this further in Know Your Rights Campaign, launching in September 2022.
Learn more about Survivors Rights in Canada in Episode Four: Understanding Your Rights Pt. 1.
In this episode we outline the rights of survivors of sexual violence in Canada. We share information regarding She Matters campaign to make sexual assault kits available at every Canadian hospital, and outline the rights and freedoms of survivors as listed in the Victim Bill of Rights.
In this episode we provide you with the information to understand your rights as a survivor in Canada, and the steps to follow if your rights have been violated.