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Do you know a woman who is being abused? A legal rights handbook

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What if I am hurt?

If you are hurt physically, ask the police to call an ambulance or take you to a hospital, to a doctor that you know and trust, or to a Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre (SADVTC), if there is one near you. A SADVTC is a hospital department that helps victims of domestic and sexual assault.

You can go to a SADVTC on your own, even if you have not contacted the police.

Staff at a SADVTC can provide you with medical treatment and photograph and document your injuries. They will ask for your consent before they do these things. You can agree to some things but not others. For example, you might agree to staff taking notes about your injuries but not agree to them taking photographs.

This information can be used as evidence in charges against your partner, or it can be kept in case you need it in the future.

Staff at a SADVTC can also help you even if you do not have any physical injuries, or think that you don’t have any physical injuries. They offer 24-hour services and follow-up care, crisis counselling, and referrals to shelters. They also offer legal and financial help.

If you are unable or not ready to leave your partner, there are community agencies that offer counselling and support to help you decide what to do. Many have services in different languages.