Vancouver Island, BC: Sexual Assault Resources

Writer: Vedanshi

CW: Discussion of violence, harassment, abuse


Know someone who can benefit from these resources? Show them this QR code to scan and open this resource page in a mobile browser.


We’re going to share some available options for seeking support after a sexual assault, or for those who have experienced domestic abuse or harassment. When someone is assaulted, their choice is taken away from them. When deciding what kind of support to seek, the choice is in the survivor’s hands, every step of the way.

If there is an immediate threat to your (or someone else’s) life: call 911.

A reminder for allies: If someone has been sexually assaulted, it was not their fault. They may not remember what exactly happened, and that is normal. Be kind, be non-judgemental, and be willing to support the choices they are ready to make for themselves. You can also share this article with a survivor to support them in identifying their options.

Learn about options for support, and ways to take action:

Our article on 'Crisis Support' provides a general idea on the types of support services available to survivors. Our article titled 'What do I do?' summarizes what can be done in this kind of a situation, both for the victim/survivor and their supportive allies. This includes medical help, mental health support, police action, legal support, or seeking physical safety in a shelter.

SAFE BUDDIES

A Phone Safe Buddy can be on the line with you and make sure you get to your destination safely. Learn more about requesting a Safe Buddy from anywhere in Canada on our website: boltsafety.org/safebuddies

SAFE HUBS

A network of safe spaces in partnership with local businesses. Find a safe space near you: boltsafety.org/safehubs

INFORMATION DATABASES

BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre

Website: bcwomens.ca

About: Understand how healthcare professionals can help after a sexual assault

BC 211

Website: bc.211.ca

About: A database of resources, which can be filtered based on region and service type.

COUNSELLING SERVICES

Island Health Residential Historical Abuse Program (RHAP)

Phone: 1-866-213-4408 (Vancouver Island Toll-free)

Website: islandhealth.ca

About: "Provides access to free counselling services for individuals who were sexually abused as children (when age 18 or younger) while living in residential facilities that were funded or operated by the BC provincial government. After intake, clients are directed to Island Health endorsed counsellors in the community. The program arranges funding directly with the counsellor. Serves Vancouver Island. Office hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday."

Victoria Sexual Assault Centre

Website: vsac.ca/counselling

About: "The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre (VSAC) provides both crisis support and trauma counselling, as well as group counselling sessions for all women, [Trans], Two-Spirit and Gender Non-Conforming people."

CRISIS LINES

Vancouver Island Crisis Line (24-Hours):

Phone: 1-888-494-3888

About: "Provides emotional support and information to people of all genders directly or indirectly affected by sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse. Facilitates hospital and/or police accompaniment for recent sexual assault survivors."

24 Hour Rape Crisis Line:

Phone: 604-872-8212

About: “Free, confidential, phone based crisis intervention, information, and referral.”

VictimLinkBC:

Phone: 1-800-563-0808 (toll-free)

About: “VictimLinkBC provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence. Available 24 hours a day.”

Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) Rape Crisis Centre:

Phone: 1-877-392-7583 (national toll free line)

About: “Confidential, immediate, emotional support, information, referrals, and hospital accompaniment. Available 24 hours a day.”

FORENSIC AND MEDICAL SUPPORT

Island Health Forensic Nursing Services

Website: islandhealth.ca/our-services/forensic-nursing-services/forensic-nursing-services

Hospitals and social service organizations offering this service have been pinned to our Safe Hubs map here.

About: "If you have experienced sexual assault or intentional relationship violence of any sort within the past 7 days, you can access our Forensic Nursing Services at most emergency rooms across the island."

SAFE SPACES

CAMPBELL RIVER | Ann Elmore House:

Phone: 250-286-3666 (24 hour help line), 1-800-667-2188 (toll free), or 250-895-1773 (text-only, 24 hour help line)

Website: annelmorehouse.ca

About: By the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society. Provides "safe shelter, support, and programs to women and children fleeing abuse".

COMOX VALLEY | Lilli House

Phone: 250-338-1227 (24 hour crisis line) or 250-218-4034 (24 hour text-only line)

Website: cvts.ca/lilli-house

About: "A place for women and children who are fleeing abuse to come for safety and suport, and to transition into a life free from violence." Provided by the Comox Valley Transition Society.

COWICHAN | Charlotte's Place Women's Shelter

Phone: 250-466-9492

Website: cwav.org

About: "Charlotte’s Place Women’s Shelter is a safe place of community and security for women experiencing homelessness. It is a low-barrier, wet, 19+ shelter that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It currently has an 8-bed capacity. It offers laundry services, shower facilities, meals, basic supports, and referrals to other services as needed." By the Cowichan Women Against Violence (CWAV) Society.

DUNCAN | Warmland House Shelter:

Phone: 250-715-1132

Website: cmhacowichanvalley.com/warmland_house_shelter

About: By the Canadian Mental Health Association. The shelter is a safe place for both men and women aged 19+.

ERRINGTON, NANOOSE, PARKSVILLE, QUALICUM | Parksville-Qualicum Haven House

Phone: 1-888-756-0616 (24 hour crisis line)

Website: havensociety.com/parksville-oceanside

About: "This Oceanside area safe house provides temporary shelter to support women and children who have experienced violence and are seeking safety while exploring their options [...]. More than providing shelter, emotional support and advocacy, Parksville-Qualicum Haven House is a safe place to begin healing from abuse." Provided by Haven Society and the Society of Organized Services.

NANAIMO | Transition House

Phone: 1-888-756-0616 (24/7 Crisis Line)

Website: havensociety.com/transitionhouse

About: "Haven Transition House provides temporary shelter and support for women and children who have experienced violence and are seeking safety while exploring their options." By Haven Society.

NANAIMO / SNUNEYMUXW FIRST NATION | Cedar Woman House

Phone: 250-591-5580

Website: cedarwomanhouse.org

About: "Cedar Woman House is a 24/7 staffed transition house for women and their dependant children who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing violence. Cedar Woman House serves the immediate need for access to safe shelter and transition supports on a short-term or temporary basis. Cedar Woman House is designed around Indigenous values, cultural priorities and programming. All women and their dependent children in need of transition housing supports are welcome."

PORT ALBERNI | Sage Haven Society

Website: acaws.ca

Phone: 250-724-2223

About their transition house (open 24/7): "A safe emergency shelter for women 19+ and their children who are fleeing domestic violence. The TH team offers a safe place, emotional support, meals, referrals, and transportation." Formerly known as the Alberni Community and Women's Services Society, ACAWS).

PORT HARDY | Women’s Safe Shelter

Phone: 250-230-1647 (24/7 phone line)

Website: nicccs.org/programs/75-2

About: "We provide food, emotional support, counselling, assistance to get on your feet with financial, medical or legal help, and information on community and provincial resources. If you had to leave your home in a hurry, we have toiletries and emergency clothing, and transportation." By the North Island Crisis and Counselling Centre Society.

SALT SPRING ISLAND | Transition House

Phone: 1-877-435-7544 (Toll-free) or 250-537-0735

Website: https://iwav.org/transition-house/

About: A safe space for women and their children to find safety from violence and/or abuse. By Islanders Working Against Violence.

SOOKE | Annie's Place (Transition House)

Phone: 250-642-2591

Website: sooketransitionhousesociety.com/transitionhouse

About: "We provide safe, clean, temporary emergency accommodations for women and their children leaving abusive situations. It is a place free from the threat of violence. [...] Please phone the house directly for assistance and intake." By the Sooke Transition House Society.

UCLUELET | Westcoast Transition House

Phone: 250-726-2020 (24-hour support line), 1-877-726-2080 (toll-free), or 250-266-0187 (text)

Website: wccrs.ca/westcoast-transition-house

About: "Westcoast Transition House is a temporary emergency shelter run by women, for women and their children who are fleeing violence and abuse." By the Westcoast Community Resources Society.


VICTORIA | Victoria Sexual Assault Centre

Call: 250-383-3232

Website: vsac.ca

About: "It is our mission to support, empower and advocate for women and all [trans] survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. Regardless of when you were assaulted, we are here to support you in your healing journey. We serve as a liaison between individuals affected by sexual violence, the justice and medical systems and community services."

LEGAL SUPPORT

COMOX VALLEY | RCMP Victim Services

Phone: 250-334-5979

Website: cvts.ca/rcmp-victim-services

About: The "program works alongside the RCMP to provide support, information and referrals to victims of crime and trauma." Emotional, court, and informational support is available. Provided by the Comox Valley Transition Society.

LADYSMITH | Victim Services

Phone: 250-245-6061

Website: lrca.ca/programs/victim-services

About: "To offer free and confidential support services to all Victims and Witnesses of crime and traumatic events in a courteous and timely manner." Services provided by the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association include crisis intervention, emotional support, practical assistance, information on the progress of the police investigation or court case, court orientation and accompaniment.

SOOKE | Victim Services

Website: sooketransitionhousesociety.com/victim-services

About: "Our Police-based Victim Services Program is run in conjunction with the Sooke RCMP Detachment. Our staff respond to call outs from RCMP and hospitals to provide initial critical incident defusing, provide critical incident stabilization, and to liaise between victims and emergency personnel. Staff also provide criminal justice information and support, safety planning, information and referrals, and emotional and practical support." By the Sooke Transition House Society.

VICTORIA | Acheson Law

Website: achesonlaw.ca/services/sexual-assault-claims

About: "Acheson Law helps survivors pursue claims in the civil justice system – which is separate from the criminal justice system. Broadly speaking, in the civil system sexual violence can be classified as sexual assault, sexual battery, or both. While sexual battery only occurs when a person physically violates another’s sexual integrity without consent, sexual assault does not actually require physical contact."

COPYWRITING SERVICES FOR SURVIVORS

itsharpo collaborations offers copywriting services for survivors hoping to craft various forms of writing material. Their service can support survivors with their victim impact statements or writing out their appeals. To learn more and get in touch, visit their website at www.itsharpo.com

Know a resource that should be listed on our database?

Send us an email at info@boltsafety.org