Domestic violence, also called intimate partner abuse, is a crime. It occurs in opposite sex relationships and in same sex relationships. Not all survivors are physically battered or beaten. Domestic violence can include other forms of abuse such as constant threats, psychological, emotional, sexual, financial, material, spiritual, and verbal abuse. Partner abuse happens to many people at all income and educational levels, in all social classes, in all religions, racial, and cultural groups.
Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual activity including fondling, touching, and/or penetration that is forced upon another person without that person’s consent. All genders can be sexually assaulted, even within marriage or dating situations.
Consent involves the voluntary agreement of two adults to engage in sexual activity. A person under the influence of medication, alcohol, or drugs cannot give consent.
If you have been, or think you have been sexually assaulted, have been a survivor of domestic violence, are concerned for your safety, or have been threatened by your partner, there are resources available to help you.
Sexual Assault Family Violence (SA/FV) Program
If you were assaulted in the last 12 days, go to the Kingston General Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital, or Lennox & Addington Country General Hospital and request the SA/FV nurse on call.
The SA/FV unit has a specialized nurse on call 24/7. The nurse will provide a physical assessment, treatment of injuries, testing/treatment of STIs, pregnancy, and HIV. There is also the option of gathering forensic evidence with a sexual assault evidence kit, and survivors have the option of freezing the kit to allow more time for a decision. Survivors are also provided with follow-up care. Please note that emergency contraception and HIV anti-retrovirals can only be provided within the first 72 hours following a sexual assault.
Though there is a 12 day time frame for individuals 16 years of age or older, there is no time frame for children 16 years and younger.
Sexual Assault Centre Kingston
Provides counseling, resources, legal and medical accompaniments, etc.
There is no time frame associated with this service.
24-hour crisis line: (613) 544-6424 and 1-877-544-6424
Office line: (613) 545-0762
See our Resources page for more long-term counselling resources.
What is the sexual assault evidence kit?
The sexual assault evidence kit is done to collect evidence when an individual has been sexually assaulted. An individual can have a kit done at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) in the SA/FV unit. The procedure is lengthy, and requires a sweep of the individual’s body to look for any evidence of sexual assault that may be used to prosecute the assailant (though it is not required that the survivor press charges after having the kit done). Such things as hair, semen/vaginal fluids, or signs of bruising can all be used as evidence in a court of law. The procedure is invasive, and may be quite unpleasant for an individual who has just been sexually assaulted. However, any individual who may want to press charges against his or her assailant in the future should have a kit done.
The Sexual Health Resource Centre provides a support service where one of our volunteers will accompany an individual to KGH and wait with them until the procedure is over. The sooner an individual goes to get a sexual assault evidence kit done, the more effective the kit will be.
Further support services and information is available at the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston (SACK), which can be reached at (613) 544-6424.