"Council passes resolution in support of Dr. McEnery’s", By Sarah Vance, Bancroft This Week News ~ Article
Outrage about a victim’s eight-hour wait in Bancroft’s emergency room for service from Quinte Health Care’s Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Response Program (DVSARP) has been expressed at council meetings in both Bancroft and Hastings Highlands. On May 14, Bancroft council passed a resolution to take action in support of Dr. Peter McEnery's public letter castigating the program's inefficiency.
In an exclusive interview with Bancroft This Week, McEnery expressed pride in the leadership demonstrated by the town of Bancroft and confidence in the procedures that Quinte Health Care is using to address the gaps in service delivery.
“Things are happening at an internal level,” explained McEnery. “Local practitioners are interested in sexual assault response training and I am anticipating the return of a local DVSARP team at the North Hastings Hospital.
“There has been an outpouring of concern from the community and we are taking action to ensure that this does not happen again.”
The resolution passed by council reads as follows: “Be it resolved that the council of the Town of Bancroft hereby supports Dr. McEnery of the Town of Bancroft, in his appeal and further requests that the Ministry of Health act responsibly and immediately to provide victims of sexual assault timely and barrier free access for critical medical care and examination by providing all necessary requirements for the administration of the sexual violence kit at local community hospitals and to engage with rural doctors to identify solutions to this needless gap in critical medical care.”
Copies of this resolution will be sent to MP Daryl Kramp, MPP Todd Smith, the Ontario Minister of Health, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
"Dr. McEnery has provided important insights into the barriers facing victims and their service providers," said Bancroft Councillor Paul Jenkins. "We are taking his letter and Bancroft This Week's investigation seriously.” “There was a time when the emergency room nurses at Bancroft’s hospital administered the sexual assault kit locally,” said Kim Charlebois, executive director of the sexual assault centre for the Quinte area. “There are 20,000 new sexual assault victims every year in Canada, but there are another 30,000 victims who do not seek help,” said Jim Eadie, a retired Bancroft OPP officer and forensic specialist. “Having a SARP team in Bancroft removed barriers for victims, and Bancroft’s practices were exemplary, spearheading patient-centred changes in the sexual assault kit itself.” “Recruitment is an issue for the DVSARP team which consists of 10 on-call nurses who collectively serve the facilities in our system,” said Wendy Parker, director of patient care at Quinte Health Care.
When Rev. Jan Porter, author of Life After Abuse, learned of the events prompting McEnery to make a public appeal over the system's abandonment of a sexual assault victim, she was disheartened. "It is almost archaic,” said Porter. “It’s a step back in the standards of care and the service provisions of a hospital.” "Sexual violence affects the whole community — males and females— and in Canada one in three girls and one in five boys will experience an unwanted sexual act before their 18th birthday.” Jan Porter’s book, Life After Abuse, uses victim testimony and case studies from her work as a pastoral counselling skills facilitator to unravel the complexities of a victim’s journey. “Victims can become perceptually cut off from their own self-worth,” she said. “We must ask tough questions about our clinical models to ensure that they do not further victimize the patient.” “Our early learning models should develop discernment skills,” Porter added during her book launch at Mystic Creations Gift Gallery, on Saturday May 25.
“Children require confidence to trust their own instincts and take action when necessary.” In Canada, the rate of sexual assault against children is over five times higher than for adults with an average of 206 youth victims compared to 39 adult victims for every 100,000 people. “In many cases,” said Porter, “it is not until years later that these children have the courage to tell their stories and to seek help.”
Porter delivers professional development courses for service groups and her book, Life After Abuse, is available on-line and at Mystical Creations Gift Gallery, downtown Bancroft.
Jan Porter ~ Author www.inspiredsoulworks.com