Niagara hospitals see 24% jump in sexual-domestic assault cases


Published December 2, 2022 at 11:06 am

After a 24 per cent jump in sexual assault-domestic violence patients over the course of a year, Niagara Health is looking to add hospital staff specifically to deal with that issue.

The health unit that oversees all Niagara Region hospitals reported that in 2021-22, there were 241 sexual assault-domestic violence in-patients served compared to 194 patients in 2020-21 – a jump of 24 per cent.

To that end, they “recently commissioned a standard internal program review of our Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (SADV) Treatment Centre to ensure patients have access to the services and care they need, and understand program strengths, current challenges and opportunities for improvement.”

While the review found that their SADV protocols are “a safe and effective program providing patient-centred care (with) quality and standards of care (that) meet or exceed those of other SADV programs across Ontario,” at the same time, they see the need for more staff.

Fortunately, at the moment, they are in the position to do precisely that.

“Niagara Health has the funding it needs to continue its ongoing recruitment efforts for the specially trained SADV nurses required for the program and we anticipate full and continued funding.”

Their internal review “included a survey of other SADV treatment programs, clinical observations, review of key documents, chart reviews and focus groups/interviews with 20 stakeholders.”

It did find some areas where they’d like to see positive changes, identifying “some areas for improvement such as hours of operation, recruitment and retention, and collaboration with community partners. Niagara Health takes these recommendations seriously and we will be actively working to address them.”

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising