If you have experienced sexual assault, you have the right to report - or not report - the incident to Holland College and community agencies such as police or healthcare workers. You can report formally, which will start an investigation, or informally, which means that you are sharing the information to receive support and services, and to discuss your options.
Who you talk to informally is your choice. You may choose to tell a Holland College staff member or counsellor just for support, this does not mean that you have to report it to police or press criminal charges.
If the individual who committed the assault is a risk to other people, Holland College or the police may need to know to prevent them from harming someone else, so it's important to keep that in mind when you are deciding what to do.
REPORTING AND RAPE KIT OPTIONS
A rape kit is a collection of items used to gather and preserve evidence by a health care provider following a sexual assault. If you are thinking about reporting and having a rape kit done, you should do so as soon as possible at a hospital, although even after 72 hours some evidence may still be collectible from a person’s body and clothing. You may be asked by a health care provider if you want to report to police, but you are not required to report if you do not want to.
If you are not sure that you want to report an assault, you have time to think about it. You can have the evidence collected anonymously and stored up to one year. This is called the Third Option. The Third Option means that survivors of sexual violence who go to an Island hospital emergency room can agree to have evidence collected and stored anonymously, giving them more time to consider making a complaint to police while they receive immediate medical attention and support.
When a person requests and consents to the Third Option service, health care providers use a trauma-informed, patient-centered approach to safely collect forensic evidence. Law enforcement partners transport the anonymous evidence to the RCMP L Division, where the kits will be stored anonymously for up to one year. More details on how this works will be explained to you by the Enhanced Emergency Sexual Assault (EESAS) team at the hospital.
Understanding Your Options
Anyone who has experienced sexual assault or sexual violence has the right to:
be treated with dignity and respect,
be informed about on- and off-campus services and resources,
decide whether or not to access available services and to choose those services they feel will be most beneficial,
decide whether to report to campus security and/or local police,
have an on-campus investigation with the institution's full cooperation,
have a safety plan, and
have reasonable and necessary actions taken to prevent further unwanted contact with the alleged perpetrator(s).
If you make a disclosure, you are confiding in a trusted member of the college community in order to access counselling and other supports and services, and to learn about your formal reporting options. College community members who you can talk to include:
Counsellors If you would like to discuss the incident with a counsellor, who can refer you to other resources, assist you in dealing with the incident and help to guide you on what to do next, please make an appointment here.
Nurse Practitioners If you would like to connect with medical personnel because you are concerned for your personal health and would like advice on what to do at this point, please make an appointment at the nearest campus Health Clinic by calling 902-566-9392 or on our website.
Student Union Representatives Your student union has representatives that can work with you and support you by connecting you with the right resources. Call 902-566-9630.
Residence Staff If you are living in one of our residences, and you experience a sexual assault, residence staff are available to discuss options for your safety in residence and to help you determine what path you want to take and what resources are available to you. You can call the Residence Manager at 902-367-7701.
You will be provided with the resources and supports that you need. The college will not investigate the matter or discuss the matter with the alleged offender unless you consent, unless the college believes there is reason to be concerned about the safety of other people.
For record keeping purposes only, informal reports are submitted, without identifying information. If the college determines a need to move to a formal investigation, you will be able to choose whether or not to participate in the process.
An informal report may be used to seek supports including:
Academic supports & accommodations
Formal reporting options
A formal college report is a written allegation that triggers an investigation.
This type of report cannot be made anonymously. The college is obligated to inform the person accused of the assault of the allegations made against them. Making a Formal College Report does not prevent you from reporting the incident to the police.
You can write the report yourself or request help writing it. The report should include:
A chronological statement of facts (what happened, where it happened, and when it happened);
Contact information for you and any witnesses;
Any documentary evidence you may have, including emails, text messages, and social media posts.
Formal reports submitted to the college are investigated by an external firm with expertise in dealing with sexual misconduct cases and which is familiar with the college's policies and procedures.
Additional detail on the formal reporting process can be found in SAM.
Reporting the sexual assault as soon as possible after it has happened is important so that medical evidence can be collected. If you are not sure whether or not you want to press charges, PEI Emergency Department health care providers can obtain the evidence and it can be held for up to one year.
If you suspect that you have been drugged, it is important to attend an emergency department at a hospital, as drug testing needs to be done quickly. Take a sample of your urine if possible and bring it with you.
Think about preserving evidence: don't bathe, shower, douche, or wash your sheets or clothing if you think you may want to press charges.
If you decide to press charges, the police will ask you to undergo a medical examination by a specially trained medical team and have injury photos taken. This can all be done at an emergency department at a local hospital.
Police will interview you and ask you questions about the assault.
When charges are laid, you will be required to testify in court, but you will be supported by a counsellor or someone from Victim Services.
If you need immediate help, here are your options:
Call Student Wellness 1-833-549-3281
Visit the nearest hospital emergency room
Call the National Sexual Assault Support Line (24/7): 1-877-392-7583