There are many types of formal and informal support that a victim/survivor may draw upon. Many people find healing through peer support, friends, family, Elders, traditional ceremonies, spiritual and/or religious communities, and community activism. Others turn to formal programs. Discover some formal support services available in Nova Scotia.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner


Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are registered nurses with advanced training in providing non-judgmental, confidential support as well as conducting medical exams and collecting forensic evidence. This service is free.


People of any gender can access the SANE program. This service is available if the assault took place within the past 5 days.

  • Details and contact info:

    A person may want to see a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner to take care of any physical injuries, test for pregnancy, test for STIs, and collect evidence for police.

    The whole SANE exam may take up to four hours. It is preferred, but not required, that you come directly to the hospital without showering or changing to preserve forensic evidence. Bring a change of clothes so that you can change following the examination. The victim/survivor has the right to end the examination at any time, for any reason.

    SANE 24-hour response line:

Sexual Violence Trauma Therapy


Some victims/survivors may find talking with a counsellor helpful. The community-based Sexualized Violence Trauma Therapy Program offers up to 20 free sessions for those who have been subjected to sexual violence.


This service can be accessed by survivors who live in Nova Scotia and are 15 years of age or older. If you are under the age of 15, please contact the Sea Star Program.

People of all genders, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities and abilities are welcome.

  • Details and contact info:

    This program can help you if you’ve been affected by any form of sexualized violence or gender-based violence. This includes:

    • Sexual assault
    • Sexual abuse
    • Sexual harassment
    • Sexual exploitation
    • Intimate partner violence

    Sexualized violence can traumatize not only the survivor, but also the people who love and support them. This is why the program offers therapy to both. You can access up to three free sessions if you’re the primary support person or loved one of a survivor.

    Sexualized Violence Therapy sessions are offered:

    • Online
    • On the phone
    • At Avalon’s office in Halifax
    • At community spaces across Nova Scotia

    To access this service, call (902) 817-3821 or message Avalon. After the initial phone session you will be connected to a trauma therapist as soon as possible. Availability and wait times may vary across regions.

    Need to ask some questions first? Make a general enquiry.

Independent Legal Advice for Sexual Assault Survivors


This program provides up to four hours of free, independent legal advice for victims/survivors of sexual violence.


People of any gender who are 16+ years of age who were sexually assaulted in Nova Scotia. Participants do not have to report to police or take legal action if they use this service.

Victim Services

What is it?

This free program provides a variety of services for victims of crime as they navigate the legal system, including support in accessing the Criminal Injuries Counselling Program.

Who is it for?

If a victim/survivor reports sexual violence to police, they are entitled to access Victim Services, which offers support and services to victims of crimes.

Mi’kmaw Victim Support Services

What is it?

The Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network has two Indigenous Victim Support Workers who can guide a victim/survivor throughout the court process, help them prepare for court, and assist with victim impact statements. Charges do not have to be laid to access services and services are free.

Who is it for?

Free of charge for Indigenous people involved in Nova Scotia’s criminal justice system.