Action plan to combat sexual violence marks the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Week
The Sexual Assault Service of Saskatchewan (SASS) has developed 22 actions under a plan to combat sexual violence.
"What we’re thinking is within the next five years, when survivors go through services they are treated with dignity and respect,” said Patience Umereweneza, Project Coordinator, Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan. “We also hope that in addressing a lot of these issues we address a lot of the issues that affect interpersonal violence in general so we think that it will have impacts in just overall quality of life for a lot of folks an enhancing what already exists in the province."
The action plan is to strengthen and better coordinate supports and help with prevention of sexual assault.
“It puts together a framework that addresses the needs in the province but also recognizes the wins in services that are actually happening and having the ability to strengthen those,” said Kerrie Isaac, Executive Director, Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan. “Putting together a collaborative framework of what survivors need when they experience sexual violence.”
SASS hopes to have the plan fully implemented across Saskatchewan in five years.
“The uniqueness about this plan is it’s not just for government to fund,” said Isaac. “We’re asking for all sectors, individuals, because this is everybody’s issue. And the provincial government can put those funding dollars towards but we need to also look at these underlying beliefs and attitudes that exist within society through prevention and education and awareness campaigns.”
The federal government financially supported the research and development of this action plan, and its launch closely follows the Regina police’s announcement of the Philadelphia Model.
SASS is still trying to secure funding from the province, feds and private sector.
"We’ve looked at those actions quite closely with our colleagues in the human services ministry because it is quite comprehensive in a number of ministries are affected,” said Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Minister Responsible for Status of Women Office. “I think some of those actions are already underway and those that are not underway we will work through in the budget process."