Lack of treatment for sexual assault victim unacceptable: Nova Scotia premier

Premier Stephen McNeil says the way a young sexual assault victim was recently treated at a hospital in Truro, N.S., was unacceptable, and he's called on the Health Department to determine who was responsible.

Responding to questions Friday in the legislature, the Liberal premier says staff at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre were wrong to simply hand pamphlets to the woman and turn her out into the street.

Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Karla MacFarlane asked the premier to explain why the hospital, located in Nova Scotia's third-largest city, isn't part of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, which offers sexual assault support services.

McNeil said the program is expanding and he agreed the hospital should be part of the SANE program.

The 22-year-old woman, whose story was reported by the Truro News on Aug. 29, said she was not offered access to either a doctor or a nurse after arriving at the hospital's emergency department to report she had been raped.

Her mother eventually took her to a hospital an hour's drive away in Antigonish, N.S., where she was examined by a nurse with the SANE program.