What Should You Do If You Are Sexually Assaulted?

April 29th, 2024
What Should You Do If You Are Sexually Assaulted?

Although this blog is for Gagan Nahal, a criminal defence lawyer on the Lower Mainland, who regularly defends clients accused of sexual assault, nevertheless sexual assault is a serious crime. In today’s blog, we wanted to spend some time discussing what to do if you are on the other side, a victim of sexual assault.

Here, below, is some general advice on what to do and not do.

1.      Are You Safe?

First, you should make sure you are safe. If you are not safe where you are, go somewhere safe, such as a friend or relative’s house or a public area—if you are able.

2.      Seek Help.

If it just happened, call the police at 9-1-1. If it happened a while ago, then call the police non-emergency number which will vary depending on your location.

You may also want to call a friend or relative. However, if you are injured, then call the police first so they can get you medical help. When a dispatcher answers tell them you want the police.

If you are able, you can go directly to any hospital emergency room or walk-in clinic or urgent care centre and tell them what happened to you.

If you are not able to go to the hospital, then ask for help from anyone nearby, such as a waitress in a restaurant or a salesperson in a retail store or any office on the street.

3.      Other Way to Seek Help

You can call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808.

You can call 8-1-1 and speak to a nurse. It is toll free and available 24 hours, 7 days per week.

You can call Victim Assistance at 1-866-660-3888, toll free in BC.

If you are a child, you can call 310-1234. There is no area code required. You can also call 9-1-1.

4.      Do Not Bathe If It Just Happened

Wait until the police or medical personnel attend to you first. It is possible that there is evidence on you that may need to be collected.

5.      Get Counselling

There are lots of resources available in British Columbia for crime victims, but a detailed list of those resources is beyond the scope of this blog article. The main takeaway, here, is if you are the victim of a crime like sexual assault, it is not your fault, and you should not feel guilty about it.

Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients. 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.