Self care, symptoms to take note of, where to go for follow-up care.

The information in this section does not replace the advice of your health care provider. Please seek health care after sexual assault or violence.

We recommend seeing a health care provider that you trust and feel comfortable with. The Embrace Clinic is a special clinic that you can follow up with your health care needs. You can also follow up with your family doctor, a nurse practitioner, a youth clinicOptions for Sexual Health clinic or walk-in clinic.

Women

Every person responds in a different way to sexual assault and violence. Some people get angry while others feel ashamed or sad. It can help to talk to someone about what happened and how to start the emotional and spiritual healing. The Surrey Mobile Assault Response Team (SMART) has trained support workers who can listen and help guide you through this. Sometimes people need more support such as a counsellor or psychiatrist. See a health care provider to discuss referral options that might be right for you.

Access follow up care

The Embrace Clinic is a specialty clinic that provides follow-up care to victims of violence. We recommend seeing a health care provider that you trust within two weeks of your assault. Contact the Embrace Clinic or your family doctor, a nurse practitioner, a youth clinicOptions for Sexual Health clinic, or walk-in clinic.

Depending on the details of the incident, you may want to be tested for pregnancy and or sexually transmitted infections. Also, take note of symptoms you may have.

Symptoms you may have

 Some or all of the following may happen in the next few days:

  • Hurts to pee or any difficulty using the bathroom. This might be due to swelling of the tissues. If you are unable to pee at all you MUST see a health care provider right away. Otherwise, try to drink plenty of fluids without caffeine. If you see blood in your pee, you get a back ache, you have a fever or the burning lasts more than a day see a health care provider.
  • Soreness and bruising to other parts of your body. Soreness may get worse two to three days after the assault. It should slowly start to get better. Apply cold compresses to bruises for the first 24 hours, and then warm bath soaks may help. You may take your usual over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • Anal soreness and difficulty having a bowel movement. It may be difficult and painful for up to 10 days or more. Drink lots of fluids without caffeine and eat more fruit, vegetables, and grains (i.e. prunes/bran). An over-the-counter stool softener may help. If you have intense pain that doesn't go away, see a health care provider.
  • Cuts and sores inside your mouth. These should heal within two weeks. Rinse your mouth out three times a day with salt water. Avoid citrus, acidic and spicy foods.
  • Cuts to other parts of your body. Keep areas clean and dry, apply antibiotic ointment (ie. Polysporin) and cover with a bandage.
  • Vaginal bleeding. You may have some bleeding from your vagina after the assault. If it is very heavy or lasts more than a few days, see a health care provider.
  • Burning, itching, soreness or smelly vaginal area. Soaking in warm, clean water two or three times a day may help. Do not add bubbles, scented soaps or bath salts to the water as this can make things worse. Do not douche or scrub your vagina. If the symptoms do not go away in a few days, see a health care provider.
  • Bumps on your genitals. Do not try to pop new bumps that appear on your genitals. See a health care provider.

When you see your health care provider for follow up care ask for the following tests:

  • A pregnancy test (if you have not had a period since the incident)
  • A chlamydia and gonorrhea test (urine, vaginal, oral and or anal)
  • A blood test for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B and C

If you have any of these symptoms tell the health care provider:

  • Vaginal discharge that is not normal for you
  • Bad smelling odour from your vagina
  • Vaginal or anal itch
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal pain or tenderness
  • Anal pain, discharge or bleeding
  • Pain while having a pee or a poo
  • Open sore(s) on the vagina, mouth or anus
  • Burning or tingling around mouth, genital or anal areas
  • Throat infections

Men

Some people get angry while others feel ashamed or sad. It can help to talk to someone about what happened and how to start the emotional and spiritual healing. The Surrey Mobile Assault Response Team (SMART) has trained support workers who can listen and help guide you through this. Sometimes people need more support such as a counsellor or psychiatrist. See a health care provider to discuss referral options that might be right for you.

The Embrace Clinic is a specialty clinic that provides follow up care to victims of violence. We recommend seeing a health care provider that you trust within two weeks of your assault. Contact the Embrace Clinic or your family doctor, a nurse practitioner, a youth clinicOptions for Sexual Health clinic, or walk-in clinic.

Depending on the details of the incident, you may want to be tested for sexually transmitted infections. Also, take note of symptoms you may have.

Symptoms you may have

Some or all of the following may happen in the next few days:

  • Hurts to pee or any difficulty using the bathroom. This might be due to swelling of the tissues. If you are unable to pee at all you MUST see a health care provider right away. Drink plenty of fluids without caffeine. If you see blood in your pee, get a back ache, have a fever or burning that lasts more than a day, it is very important to see a health care provider.
  • Soreness and bruising to other parts of your body. Soreness may get worse after the assault. It should slowly start to get better. Apply cold compresses to bruises for the first 24 hours, and then warm bath soaks may help. You may take your usual over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • Anal soreness and difficulty having a bowel movement. It may be difficult and painful for up to 10 days or more. Drink lots of fluids without caffeine and eat more fruit, vegetables, and grains (i.e. prunes/bran). An over-the-counter stool softener may help. If you have intense pain that doesn't go away, see a health care provider.
  • Cuts and sores inside your mouth. These should heal within two weeks. Rinse your mouth out three times a day with salt water. Avoid citrus, acidic and spicy foods.
  • Cuts to other parts of your body. Keep areas clean and dry, apply antibiotic ointment (ie. Polysporin) and cover with a bandage.
  • Burning, itching or soreness in your genitals. Soaking in warm, clean water two or three times a day may help. Do not add bubbles, scented soaps or bath salts to the water because it can make things worse. Do not scrub your genitals. If the symptoms do not go away in a few days, see a health care provider.
  • Bumps on your genitals. Do not try to pop new bumps that appear on your genitals. See a health care provider.

When you see your health care provider for follow up care ask for the following tests:

  • A chlamydia and gonorrhea test (urine, oral and or anal)
  • A blood test for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B and C

If you have any of these symptoms tell the health care provider:

  • Genital itching, pain or discomfort
  • Anal pain, discharge or bleeding
  • Pain while having a pee or poo
  • Open sore(s) on the genitals, mouth or anus
  • Burning or tingling around mouth, genital or anal areas
  • Throat infections

Transgendered persons

Refer to appropriate sections for males and females and determine what best suits your situation.