Introduction: There is still little known about survivors’ experiences of and satisfaction with comprehensive nursing-led hospital-based sexual assault and domestic violence treatment programs.
Method: To address this gap, we surveyed and collected information from clients/guardians presenting to 30 of 35 of Ontario’s Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centres across seven domains: presentation characteristics, client characteristics, assailant characteristics, assault characteristics, health consequences, service use, and satisfaction with services.
Results: One thousand four hundred eighty-four clients participated in the study, 96% of whom were women/girls. Most were White (75.3%), 12–44 years old (87.8%), and living with family (69.6%); 97.9% of clients used at least one service. The most commonly used service was assessment and/or documentation of injury (84.8%), followed by on-site follow-up care (73.6%). Almost all clients/guardians reported that they received the care needed (98.6%), rated the overall care as excellent or good (98.8%), and stated that the care had been provided in a sensitive manner (95.4%). Concerns and recommendations to improve care expressed by a small proportion of clients/guardians focused on long wait times, negative emergency department staff attitudes, issues of privacy and confidentiality, and difficulty with accessing services.
Discussion: The high uptake and positive evaluation of services provided by Ontario’s Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre programs confirms the value of nursing-led, hospital-based care in the aftermath of sexual assault and domestic violence. Ongoing evaluation of such services will ensure the best care possible for this patient population.