Trudeau says unacceptable that New Brunswick hospital turned away rape victim

·1 min read

SAINT ANDREWS, N.B. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the story of a woman in Fredericton who was turned away when seeking a sexual assault forensic exam at a Fredericton hospital is "horrific."

Trudeau told reporters in St. Andrews, N.B., today that it is unacceptable that a survivor of sexual assault be faced with that kind of response.

CBC reported this week that a 26-year-old woman who went to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital to seek care last month after she had been raped was told there were no sexual assault nurse examiners available to perform the exam.

According to the report, the woman was told to go home overnight and was instructed not to shower or change her clothes and was asked to use the bathroom as little as possible to preserve evidence before she could be examined the following morning.

Margaret Melanson, the CEO of Horizon Health, said in a statement the health authority responsible for the Fredericton hospital will be reviewing its process and protocols for the sexual assault nurse examiner program.

Melanson says she deeply regrets that the hospital did not meet the needs of this patient and she thanked the woman for bravely bringing forward her experience and concerns.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 13, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press