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HAWKESBURY — In September 2019, the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) officially launched the Care program for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and elder abuse.

The program is designed to address the medical, emotional and social needs of victims in a safe and confidential environment and is available at the Emergency Department.

A team of health care professionals specialized in trauma cases supports victims in a non-judgmental approach. In addition to emergency medical care, victims can receive prevention treatment for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Staff is also prepared to handle crisis, collect forensic evidence, provide information on rights of victims, and refer them to other community resources to ensure their safety. 

Victims of a recent sexual aggression, domestic violence or elder abuse can go to the Emergency Department for help, where the program is available 24 hours a day. They may also call 613-632-1111, extension 51014, Monday to Friday between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm for assistance. 

The implementation of the Care program for victims of assault is the result of a few years of preparation and the collaborative effort of several community partners. Incidentally, close to 50 people attended a breakfast meeting marking the official launch and during which a panel of experts discussed the importance of the program in their daily operations. Members of the panel also realistically portrayed this complex social issue and the hardships encountered by victims.

Important Facts 

  • Care provided for victims within the program include:  
    • Medical and emergency nursing care (assessment and treatment of injuries) 
    • Preventive treatment for pregnancy (morning-after pill) and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV 
    • Collection of forensic evidence  
    • Medical follow-ups and counselling 
    • Risk assessment and safety planning 
    • Referral to community resources and services 
  • Sexual aggression is among the violent crimes most often committed against women in Canada. 
  • HGH is the 36th member of the Ontario Network of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres, which is a source of expertise on forensic medicine and the health of victims and survivors of violence.  
  • Aging-related issues such as chronic diseases, cognitive disorders, functional impairments and social withdrawal increase the risk of elder abuse. 

Quotes

“This new program offered at HGH greatly improves access to specialized care and services for the people of our communities. This is a vital program for our region and a good example of the integration of regional services of which we can all be proud.”

-Marc LeBoutillier

CEO, HGH

“We successfully implemented the Care Program for Victims, thanks to the collaboration of all partners. By joining forces and expertise, we can respond to the victims’ immediate needs, and then ensure the smoothest transition possible despite the complexity of these situations.”  

-Dr. Julie Maranda

Chief of Staff and Interim Vice-President of Clinical Programs, HGH

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