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There is no right or wrong way to feel after experiencing sexual violence.
No matter how you feel, know that what happened was not your fault. There are people who believe you, including the staff here at Centre for Sexuality. You don’t have to go through this alone. If you’re not sure what to do next, we’ve listed some possible options below. You can choose to do some of these options, none, or all. What happens next is completely up to you.
If this just happened, try to get someplace safe. This could be your home, to a friend or the house of someone you trust, or a hospital, depending on what you want to do next.
If you want to report what happened to the police, you can call 911 or the non-emergency line (403) 266-1234. If this happened in the last 4 days, you could also go to your nearest emergency room, which will contact the Calgary Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART) for you while offering you all of your other options.
Some people want to have a sexual assault exam kit collected. This will be done by healthcare providers and can be stored for up to one year without having it shared with the police. If you decide to report during this time, the kit can then be shared with the police. If you choose not to report, the kit will be destroyed after one year.
Someone can report their experience to the police, even without a sexual assault exam kit, at any time, regardless of how long ago the assault happened.
If this happened in the last 4 days and you would like to receive medical care, you can go to your nearest emergency room, which will contact the Calgary Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART). You will be offered emotional support, treatment or prevention of sexually transmitted infections, emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy, treatment for other health concerns, and referrals to other health care services to support you moving forward.
If this happened longer than 4 days ago, you can still access medical care through your family doctor, Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinics, an STI clinic, or by calling Health Link at 811 for a list of doctors who can help.
If you want support and education about the legal process, you can contact Calgary Communities Against Sexual Assault (CCASA). CCASA has a support team called PACES: Police and Court Education and Support, who can walk you through what to expect through the legal system. They cover everything from options around reporting to making court appearances.
If this happened in the last 4 days, you can access a crisis counsellor through the Calgary Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART) by going to your nearest emergency room.
If this happened longer than 4 days ago, you can access free counselling and support through Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA) 1-877-237-5888 or Calgary Counselling Centre 403-691-5991. Outside of business hours, you can access emotional support by calling the Distress Centre at 403-266-HELP (4357) or CCASA’s 24-hour crisis support at 403-237-5888.
Some people prefer to use self-care strategies to attend to their emotional health. This could include showering (if you do not wish to collect a sexual assault kit), sleeping, taking a sick day, calling a friend, or surrounding yourself with people who love you.
What you do next is completely up to you. There is no one right way to respond after experiencing sexual violence. Each individual will feel supported by different options. If you have any questions about the resources listed on this page, please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone.