If you have experienced sexual violence, there are two ways to share your experience:
- Disclosing- this takes place when you tell someone about your experience of sexual violence. By disclosing your experience you can get support if you need or want it. Disclosing can also be just talking about your experience.
- If you share your experience of sexual violence with an employee of the university, they will be required to complete the Sexual Violence Disclosure & Referral Form (PDF). This form will not collect any identifying information about you, but is used to document sexual violence cases experienced by our students. Completion of the form, does not mean you have to take action if you do not want.
- Reporting- if you want to take action (legal or university action) against the person who caused you harm, you can report your experience to the university's Sexual Violence Case Manager, the Avalon Sexual Assualt S.A.N.E.Program (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner), or the police. During this process you can request action/support that you feel is best for you.
- If you want to report an experience of sexual violence to the university, your starting point is Sexual Violence Case Manager who will: provide you with university support and assistance, help you explore your support options and help you access services that can help you take action against the perpetrator.
You may choose to disclose your experience to someone and report at a later time. This is ok. However, it is important to consider that if you want to report your experience of sexual violence (take action against the perpetrator), a forensic examination can be helpful for the prosecution of the perpetrator. A forensic examination must take place within seven days of the sexual violence occurring.
Who can you disclose or report sexual violence to?
Avalon Sexual Assualt S.A.N.E.Program (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)
The Avalon Sexual Assualt S.A.N.E.Program (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) is available for anyone wishing to have a forensic medical examination at a hospital emergency room. This free examination allows for evidence collection and preservation. If you are interested in this option, you can make your way to any of the four hospitals in the HRM and ask for a SANE Nurse, a specially trained nurse at the hospital through the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program (S.A.N.E.). The 24-hour S.A.N.E. response line is available by calling 902-425-0122.
You are able to access medical attention without a forensic examination. For example, you may want to be tested for pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The S.A.N.E. Nurses provide care through a trauma-informed perspective and are available to support your immediate medical needs whatever they may be.
You may choose to report your experience of sexual violence to the university so a plan can be put in place to help you with university accommodations (if the person who caused you harm is another student) and/or for the university to help you access resources and supports.
How to report to the university:
- Contact the Sexual Violence Case Manager by email, phone or in-person to ask for help reporting your experience.
- SexualViolence@smu.ca | 902.491.6676 | Student Affairs and Services, 3rd Floor Student Centre
- The Sexual Violence Case Manager will need the Sexual Violence Disclosure & Referral Form completed. This can be done on your own or with the Sexual Violence Case Manager. If completing the form on your own, it can be emailed to email@example.com or dropped off at Student Affairs and Services. The form can be completed anonymously if you want. You can fill-out as much or as little as you want. It may be helpful
It is always your choice whether or not you report the crime to the police. Reports can be made to the police in an effort to pursue criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.
The flow chart, "Reporting to Police" illustrates some of the possible paths that a sexual violence case may take and is explained in greater detail here. To report to the Halifax Regional Police, call 902-490-5020 or call 911 in an emergency.
The Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service has created a guide that outlines the court process that a sexual assault case may take.
Additional resources can be found here.