Domestic Violence: Is This Service Right for You?

Is your partner:

  • Calling you names, putting you down, insulting you, or ridiculing you?
  • Slapping, punching, kicking or biting you?
  • Isolating you from your friends and family?
  • Threatening to harm you, the children, your pets or belongings or threatening suicide?
  • Threatening you with a weapon?
  • Forcing you to have sex, withholding sex as a punishment?
  • Not allowing you to work?
  • Not allowing you access to family income or not providing the necessities of life?

You are not alone. Domestic violence happens to people who are rich or poor, old or young, in same-sex or heterosexual relationships, married or dating couples. Domestic violence is a crime, it is not your fault.

The Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre at St. Joseph's Health Care London provides care to people who have been assaulted by a partner or family member.

Violence can have many effects on a person's life and health. Beyond physical injuries, living with violence creates an almost continuously or "chronic" stressful environment. Chronic stress can lead to stomach and bowel problems, eating disorders, blood pressure problems, sleep disturbance, substance abuse, and emotional problems.

There is no cost for any of the services we provide.

There are several services we offer to people experiencing domestic violence.
You may choose to do none, some, all, or part of these services.

  1. Physical (medical) care
  2. Emotional care and support
  3. Safety Planning
  4. Referrals to community agencies and shelters
  5. Forensic evaluation (Forensic means "of the law" and refers to collection of evidence)

Physical Care

A medical examination is recommended following any assault. A person who has been assaulted may have injuries, some of which are not immediately obvious. The emergency or urgent care doctor will see you and provide emergent care such as stitches, ice packs, casts or tests such as x-rays. Immediate medical concerns will be addressed by the Urgent Care Centre or hospital emergency department prior to calling the on call nurse.

Emotional Care and Support

The staff of the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre are there to help you get through this difficult time. We cannot tell you what to do, but we can assist you to make the choices that are best for you. We can help ensure you will be discharged to a safe environment.

Safety Planning

The on-call nurse can provide you with ideas and strategies to help stay safe. If desired, we can refer and transfer you to a shelter or other community programs.

Community Resources

Please see the Community Partners/ Links page for an extensive list of organizations available to help people in London and the surrounding area deal with domestic violence.

Forensic Examination

This is an option available for people who wish to report this crime to the police, or who are uncertain about notifying the police. It includes a detailed description and photographs of any injuries and possibly gathering evidence such as torn clothing. You have the right to decline all or any part of this examination at any time. If you are uncertain about reporting the assault to the police, the documents and photographs will be stored at the hospital until you want them to be released to the police department.

Evidence is best obtained as soon after the assault as possible. We also recommend that you return to the program for follow-up care within a couple of days because often bruises do not show up immediately.

Follow-up Care

We understand what our clients have been through. We will listen, respect your wishes and help you to regain control of your life. We will provide you with a list of community counselling services.

Last updated: Thu, 2011-03-10 13:40