New interview room eases turmoil for victims of sexual assault

May. 08, 2018

The Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program at St. Joseph’s Hospital invites the public to an open house on May 10 during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

London Ontario – Victims of sexual assault or human trafficking who choose to give a statement to police can now do so without leaving the supportive environment of the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program (RSADVT) at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London.

In an expanded partnership between St. Joseph’s Health Care London and the London Police Service, an interview room has been created within the comforting and calm setting of the RSADVP that allows victims to provide a statement to police, if they choose to do so, without having to go to the station. London Police come to the individual rather than the individual to the police.

“The interview room at the RSADVTP was initiated to provide better service to victims and survivors of sexual assault,” explains Detective Sergeant Dave Poustie of the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section. “It is an effort to minimize trauma by limiting the number of times a victim has to recount their story. All can be done in one place, if that is what the victim wishes.”

The RSADVP serves London as well as Oxford, Elgin, Huron-Perth and Middlesex counties, providing care 24/7 for women, children and men who have experienced sexual assault, sexual abuse and domestic violence. Since March 2017, the RSADVTP team has been partnering with London Police’s Human Trafficking Unit to provide initial examination, testing, and medical and psychological care for victims rescued by police. In this ongoing collaboration, the SADVTP team is the first point of care for these individuals.

The addition of the interview space further enhances support for those seeking care for sexual assault at the RSADVTP. Investigators from the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section or the Human Trafficking Unit can come to St. Joseph’s, where the individual may be more comfortable, to conduct an on-camera interview with the victim, explains Detective Sergeant Poustie.

“Those coming to our program are often very exhausted and stressed by their ordeal,” says Cassandra Fisher, Coordinator of the RSADVTP. “Being able to provide a statement to police after receiving care without having to leave our program is truly a patient-centred approach. They have the choice of receiving care, counseling, involving police, all three, or any combination of those options.”

Media invited to open house

The interview room, and all services of the RSADVTP, will be on display at an open house on May 10 to coincide with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Media are invited to come at 1:30 pm to talk to the RSADVTP team and members of the London Police Service. The public is invited to drop by from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Zone B, Level 0, Room B0-644.

See below for all services provided by the RSADVTP.

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For more information, contact:
Dahlia Reich, Communication & Public Affairs Constable Sandasha Bough, Media Relations Officer
St. Joseph’s Health Care London London Police Service
T. 519 646-6100 ext. 65294 C. 519 619-0971 T. 519 661-5410 C. 519-854-8576

About the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program

Serving London as well as Oxford, Elgin, Huron-Perth and Middlesex counties, the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program located at St. Joseph’s Hospital provides care for women, children and men who have experienced sexual assault/sexual abuse and/or domestic violence. A team of specialized nurses, doctors and social workers are available 24/7 to provide care at the time of the assault and in the months following the incident. There are many options for care and each individual can choose what he or she wants to do depending on the nature of the assault and the time since the assault:

  • emotional support/crisis intervention to the patient and significant other
  • counseling; physical examination
  • testing, prevention, and/or treatment of sexually transmitted infections initially and in follow-up
  • HIV prevention medication
  • testing and/or prevention of pregnancy due to sexual assault
  • documentation/photographs of injuries
  • forensic evidence collection
  • safety planning
  • referrals as needed

About St. Joseph’s Health Care London

Renowned for compassionate care, St. Joseph’s Health Care London is a leading academic health care centre in Canada dedicated to helping people live to their fullest by minimizing the effects of injury, disease and disability through excellence in care, teaching and research. Through partnership with Lawson Health Research Institute and our collaborative engagement with other health care and academic partners, St. Joseph’s has become an international leader in the areas of: chronic disease management; medical imaging; specialized mental health care; rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics; and surgery. St. Joseph’s operates through a wide range of hospital, clinic and long-term and community based settings, including: St. Joseph’s Hospital; Parkwood Institute; Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care; and the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care. For more information, visit www.sjhc.london.on.ca.

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