Alberta creates resource to help survivors of sexual violence find support
Police services across Alberta will distribute the cards, which list community agencies and reminds survivors they deserve respect during the judicial process
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The province has developed a resource for victims of sexual violence to connect with services in their community and remind them they deserve respect throughout the judicial process.
In a news release on Tuesday, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley’s office announced police services in the province will be distributing resource cards to victims after they report a sexual assault.
The cards will list community and social services a survivor can contact for support.
“Remember, every reaction to sexual assault is different; your feelings are normal. Being a victim of a crime is never your fault,” the cards read.
Staff Sgt. Bruce Walker with the Calgary Police Service’s Sex Crimes Unit said it’s critical officers can connect survivors to the resources they need.
“These cards will help ensure our front-line officers have all this information at their fingertips when responding to sexual assault calls,” he said.
The card was developed by the Sexual Violence Police Advisory Committee (SVPAC) which was formed by the Justice and Solicitor General’s office in 2015, according to the province.
The committee, which has representatives from law enforcement, the Status of Women ministry and others, is currently developing provincial guidelines to ensure sexual violence cases in Alberta are investigated consistently and standardized training for investigators.
“Survivors of sexual violence should be treated with dignity, compassion and respect," Ganley said.
"This resource card not only affirms their rights, it also connects survivors with the information and supports they may need.”