Response and advocacy

Medical Attention:

Here is what to expect when accessing emergency services at the Chinook Regional Hospital.

  • For emergency care within 5 days of the assault, please access the emergency department of the Chinook Regional Hospital. Identify you’ve been assaulted and need medical care. The emergency room will contact a support worker from the YWCA’s Amethyst Project. The support worker will review your options for medical care and reporting. Currently you have three options:
    • You can choose to not report to police but still access medical care, in which case you may receive treatment of injuries, pregnancy prevention, testing/treatment for STIs by the ER doctor, or;
    • You can choose to report the assault to police, in which case the SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) will be contacted. SART is a team of specially trained female doctors which will provide medical care, pregnancy prevention, testing/treatment for STIs, as well as, collect evidence for the purpose of criminal investigation. You have the opportunity to provide consent for each procedure in the exams, or;
    • You can choose to access the third option. In this case, SART can collect evidence which can be stored by the Amethyst Project for up to one year. In this situation you do not have to report to police immediately, giving you the option to report within that year which evidence is stored.
  • If an individual accesses non-emergent care they can choose to access services from the Sexual Health Resource Centre (if under the age of 24), and/or family doctor.
  • If you reside outside of Lethbridge you may still go to Chinook Regional Hospital or your local ER department.

Retrieved from Jan 2017.

Police Reporting:

Sexual assault is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.  You can file a report with the Lethbridge Police or RCMP which may result in obtaining a No-Contact or Restraining Order and/or criminal charges being laid against your assailant.

If you choose to file a report with police you will also have access to services from Victim’s Services who will provide support through the criminal process.

To file a police report you would:

The Police Service recognizes that reporting a sexual assault is difficult but it is important for survivors to know we are here to help. In Canada there is no statute of limitations for sexual assault offences. The decision to report to law enforcement is entirely yours.

How do I report a sexual assault?

* Call 911. If you are in immediate danger, dial 911. Help will come to you, wherever you are.

* Contact the Lethbridge Police Service. Call the non-emergency reporting line at 403-328-4444 or attend the station in person.

* Attend the hospital. If you are at the hospital or being treated for injuries resulting from a sexual assault, tell a medical professional that you wish to report the crime and a police officer will attend. You can also choose to have a sexual assault forensic exam. It is the responsibility of the police to conduct a thorough investigation. The Lethbridge Police Service will also provide you with ongoing support throughout the entire process.

Our goal is to identify, arrest and prosecute the person(s) responsible. During the course of the investigation many steps will be taken, including where possible, every effort to provide an interviewer of the victim’s preferred gender. When you report a sexual assault a police officer will take a statement from you Save & Exit to complete an initial report.

Depending on the nature of the sexual assault, the officer may ask you to go to the hospital to treat any injuries and to have a sexual assault evidence kit taken. The kit will collect forensic evidence. The officer may also seize any clothing or other articles that may contain forensic evidence. As the investigation proceeds, the officer will keep the complainant updated on its progress. If there is sufficient evidence or grounds to support charges, charges will be sworn and police will continue to assist the complainant throughout the duration of the court process.