What happens if I attend a crisis care unit (CCU)?
As a victim of sexual assault, you have the right to attend a Crisis Care Unit (usually at a local hospital which is affiliated with a Centre Against Sexual Assault).
Generally, if you report the sexual assault to the police, they will be responsible for taking you to a CCU, and for notifying your local CASA that they are bringing you to the hospital. This is so that a Counsellor/Advocate from the CASA can be there to meet you when you arrive. She will make things as easy as possible for you once you are there. You will have the opportunity to talk to her about legal, medical and support options when you arrive at the CCU.
There are two kinds of medical examinations you may choose to have after being sexually assaulted. One is for the purpose of gathering evidence of the crime. That one is called a forensic medical examination, and will be discussed in the next paragraph.
The other medical examination is to ensure that your health is taken care of. This examination can take place at your own doctor's practice if that is what you would prefer. It is not unusual to receive physical injuries, or to contract sexually transmitted diseases during sexual assault. For women, you may be afraid that you are pregnant as a result of the assault, so you should be offered the, 'morning after pill'.
The forensic medical examination is conducted for the purpose of gathering evidence of the crime which has been committed. The Counsellor/Advocate will tell you about your rights in this process. For instance, you have the right to have a person of your choice with you at all times to support you; the right to have an interpreter present if that is necessary; and to have everything that is involved with the examination explained to you. The Counsellor/Advocate will ensure that whatever decisions need to be made, are made by you. Her role is to make you feel as comfortable as it is possible to feel about this whole process, and to advocate on your behalf with the medical personnel and police.