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Updated statement from Niagara Health regarding our Sexual Assault Domestic Violence treatment program

Posted Oct 8th, 2022

We are sensitive to the unique care needs of survivors of sexual assault and/or domestic violence and are committed to providing them with safe, quality and timely care through our Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (SADV) program.

Our specialized nurses who work with the SADV program are highly skilled and deeply committed to caring for patients. It is very unfortunate that our staffing shortages are impacting our ability to provide evidence collection on a 24/7 basis. We are working to recruit additional Nurse Examiners so we can provide this service more hours per day. We are also looking at introducing a region-wide mobile response model.

We encourage any individual in need of SADV services to attend at one of our Emergency Departments or Urgent Care Centres for medical treatment. The SADV program would then be called to support the patient’s further care, which could include evidence collection and counselling services.

When a Nurse Examiner is not immediately available, options will be discussed with the patient, which would include transportation being provided to Hamilton or Burlington for this procedure to be completed on a timely basis. Additional supports would also be offered to patients. The initial ED care and follow-up care by the SADV treatment program would continue to be provided here in Niagara.

Niagara Health System