A Sexual Assault Centre (SAC) is a service that is offered in a number of hospitals. In Antwerp in the UZA, in Brussels in UMC Sint-Pieter/CHU Saint-Pierre, in Charleroi in UMC Marie Curie, in Ghent in UZ Gent, in Leuven in UZ Leuven, in Liège in CHU Liège and in Roeselare in AZ Delta. Every victim of sexual violence is welcome, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 2023, 3 new SAC will open in Arlon, Genk and Namur.
At the Sexual Assault Centre, a victim can receive the following care:
It has been proven that victims who receive this type of comprehensive care after sexual violence have a greater chance of a lasting recovery, recover faster and are also less likely to be victimised again.
The World Health Organisation therefore prescribes that every victim should receive such holistic care as soon as possible after the violence.
In the Belgian Sexual Assault Centres, this care is provided by specially trained forensic nurses who work together with and are supported by specialists such as emergency doctors, gynaecologists, urologists, paediatricians, geriatricians, psychiatrists and specially trained psychologists. Family or friends who accompany a victim can also turn to the forensic nurse for initial support, information and advice.
What the Sexual Assault Centres can do for you as a victim depends on how long ago the sexual violence took place:
As a victim and support person, you can call or email a Sexual Assault Centre or go (with a victim) to a Sexual Assault Centre:
People close to the victim, such as family, partners or friends, can always email or call the SAC for tips or support.
If the SAC-psychologist decides, together with the victim, that it would be beneficial to start therapy, it is possible that you as a member of the victim’s support circle will be involved in this. You will also be given an explanation about which therapy will be started.
Also, at each SAC, information sessions are regularly given on how to deal with a victim of sexual violence as a partner, parent, child, family member or friend. To find out when these information sessions are held or to register for the information session, please contact the SAC directly.