The province and Nova Scotia Health Authority have issued a request for proposals for an expanded sexual assault nurse examiner service in eastern and western Nova Scotia.
The successful bidders will offer service at multiple sites in Cape Breton, Annapolis Valley, Southwestern and South Shore areas.
Sexual assault nurse examiners are registered nurses specially trained to help people who have been sexually assaulted. They are also trained to collect medical evidence, which may be used should the person choose to press charges.
“This is an important service, and I’m pleased we are moving forward,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine.
“People are at their most vulnerable after a sexual assault. This program ensures that they can be cared for by nurses who know how to provide vital medical care, emotional support and crisis intervention at a time when they need it most.”
The province and health authority have worked with the current service providers to understand how service is now delivered, and how best to design the program in future. The request for proposals reflects the results of those discussions.
The contract will be awarded by late spring. Once that happens, the health authority will work with the successful providers to launch the service promptly.
There are currently two provincially funded sites in Nova Scotia that offer this service. One serves the Halifax area and West Hants and is run by the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. The other is the Antigonish Women’s Resource Center and Sexual Assault Services Association, which covers New Glasgow to Port Hawkesbury.