Sexual assault examination and support program expands
Program to be available in Amherst, Shelburne, Truro
A program that supports victims of sexual assault in Nova Scotia is expanding to Shelburne, Truro and Amherst.
The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program gives survivors of assault medical attention, the option to collect forensic evidence and offer expert testimony in court, plus information about resources and other support.
The expansion announced Friday includes:
- Roseway Hospital in Shelburne, as of Feb. 1.
- Colchester East Hants Health Centre in Truro, as of Feb. 1.
- Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst, beginning on Monday.
The program will be expanded to the Eastern Shore this spring, the Health Department said in a news release.
"The impact of sexual assault can be devastating, and we are committed to ensuring Nova Scotians have in-person, 24/7 access to this important service," Health Minister Leo Glavine said in the news release.
The program in Shelburne will be delivered by the Tri County Women's Centre SANE program, and the Truro and Amherst programs will be delivered by the Victorian Order of Nurses SANE program.
The program is currently available in 17 locations around the province.
The province has been criticized in the past for the geographical gaps in the service.
The expansion to Colchester and Cumberland counties comes two and a half years after a woman was turned away from the hospital in Truro.
Victims who arrive at hospitals that don't have SANE programs are supposed to be transferred to locations that offer the service.