Support for Victims and Survivors of Sexualized Violence in Nova Scotia
March 31, 2017 – Yarmouth, NS – Department of Justice Canada
The safety and security of Canadians are of paramount importance to our Government, and public confidence in the criminal justice system is essential. Victims and survivors of sexual assault often face significant barriers in reporting crimes to police and testifying in court. Understanding the impacts that trauma can have on victims of sexual assault is critical to properly addressing these barriers.
Today, Colin Fraser, Member of Parliament for West Nova, and Bernadette Jordan, Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets on behalf of the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced funding support to the Tri-County Women’s Centre of Nova Scotia to enhance the supports they offer to victims and survivors of sexual violence in the criminal justice system.
The Tri-County Women’s Centre will use the $75,929 in funding to work with non-governmental victim service providers and professionals in law enforcement and justice in Shelburne, Yarmouth and Digby counties to provide training sessions on sexual assault. This training will cover topics such as, the neurobiology of trauma, the lived experience of victims and survivors, and challenging myths and stereotypes. The funding will also help develop resources in English and in French to better inform victims of and survivors of sexual violence about the criminal justice system.
“A well-functioning justice system is one that serves all Canadians, protects the vulnerable, and builds a safer and better Canada. This funding will help ensure that those working in the criminal justice system have the information and training needed to better support victims of sexual violence so that they have the knowledge and confidence to report crimes to police and testify in court.”
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“This funding will help law enforcement, justice professionals and victim service providers across Shelburne, Yarmouth and Digby Counties share knowledge, build capacity and create resources to better support victims and survivors of sexualized violence in the justice system.”
Member of Parliament for West Nova
“"The Tri-County Women’s Centre has been consulting with law enforcement and other justice professionals to better understand the trauma experienced by victims of sexual assault and develop approaches that will lead to effective and relevant education and training."
Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets
“This funding will enable us to provide specialized training on understanding trauma and practices that service providers can apply in working with victims of sexualized violence who live with trauma.”
Executive Director, Tri County Women’s Centre.
“These opportunities for service providers to train together, from justice and law enforcement professionals to community based agencies, will improve our collective practices and encourage closer working relations across all services. By applying these best practices, victims of sexualized violence will feel safer in coming forward for services.”
Sexualized Violence Intervention Services Coordinator, Tri County Women’s Centre
Statistics Canada data indicates that there were 635 incidents of sexual assault in Nova Scotia in 2015.
The charging, prosecution and conviction rates in cases of sexual assault are lower than for other types of violent crime.
According to the Statistics Canada General Social Survey (self-reported crime), only five per cent of sexual assaults perpetrated against individuals 15 years or older were reported to police in 2014, as opposed to 31% for all crimes.
Of the sexual assaults reported to police, fewer than half (43%) lead to charges being laid (2015 Uniform Crime Reporting Survey -police reported crime). Of the sexual assault cases that went to trial, fewer than half (43%) resulted in a guilty verdict, as opposed to over half (63%) for all crimes (2014/15 Integrated Criminal Court Survey).
- In the fall of 2016, up to $12 million over three years was made available under the Victims Fund for projects designed to improve the criminal justice system’s responses to sexual assaults against adults. This funding has been made available to provinces and territories, municipal governments, criminal justice professional organizations and non-governmental organizations.
- Tri County Women’s Centre: http://www.tricountywomenscentre.org/
Follow Minister Wilson-Raybould on Twitter: @MinJusticeEn.
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