A new 24 hour crisis support program has been launched by Northern Society for Domestic Peace for victims of sexual assault.
This new program is through funding received by The Ending Violence Association of BC and non-profit has launched its Emergency Sexual Assault Services (ESAS).
According to ESAS coordinator Airika Owen, the program will provide 24 hour crisis support for victims of sexual violence from Houston to Hazelton, including outlying communities.
She said a part of this program is a collaboration between other resources within the community.
“We’re funded to work with ambulance and hospitals and RCMP and mental health and clinics and doctors to look at and explore how we as a community are responding to victims of sexual violence,” Owen said.
She added through this work the organizations will assess how to make the systems and responses safer and more comfortable for victims of sexual violence.
Owen also said she believes that this will be a positive addition for victims.
“Anytime that you can offer more options for reporting, more options for support so that somebody who has experienced sexual assault and it sort of had that power and control taken away the more they can make choices about how they want to move forward,” she said.
In addition to the program NSDP have also launched an anonymous survey to ensure that system changes best meet the needs and experienced of sexual assault survivors in the North.
The survey will gather information on survivor experiences as they navigated support or reporting processes or the reasons that they chose not to report.
According to the non-profit organization, anyone taking the survey does not need to identify themselves or anyone involved in the incident(s).