November 4, 2020

Giving a Voice

Working Together: Saskatchewan Sexual Violence Action Plan

Sexual violence is prevalent in every community in Saskatchewan and with every new media report we become increasingly aware that this form of gender-based violence crosses all social boundaries amd affects people of every age and culture. 

Based on the Saskatchewan Sexual Violence Report conducted in Partnership with Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan and Community-University Institute for Social Research at the University of Saskatchewan, the development of the Action Plan included identifying existing strengths and potential gaps in services related to sexual violence across the province. 

The four foundational components of the Saskatchewan Sexual Violence Action Plan include:

      • Challenge sexual violence and change societal attitudes through prevention and education;
      • Improve supports and intervention services for people who experience sexual violence;
      • Strengthen a responsive legal and justice system;and,
      • Build collaborative leaderships and accountability for each step of the plan 

In the spirit of reconciliation, the Action Plan takes into consideration the effects of historical and intergenerational trauma and the over-representation of Indigenous persons as targets of sexual violence. 

To end sexual violence in our province, everybody is responsible. We must work together to shift from current societal victim-blaming attitudes towards solutions that are trauma and violence informed, culturally affirming and healing for individuals, families and communities. 

The Action Plan is a guide to help us move forward towards ending sexual violence in Saskatchewan. 

Download a digital copy of the Action Plan or request a hard copy by emailing Patience at project.sass@sasktel.net 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE PLAN 

“A large component of Envision Counselling and Support Centre’s programming is prevention, which is providing awareness education to promote a shift in beliefs in hopes of eradicating gender-based violence.” – Christa Daku, Executive Director—Envision Counselling & Support Centre Inc. (SASS Member Agency)

“North East Outreach & Support Services wishes to acknowledge the hard work that we and our member agencies our provincial organization, SASS, have dedicated in the development of the Saskatchewan Sexual Violence Action Plan. The 22 Actions proposed in this Plan will strengthen services, coordination and prevention throughout our province. We are excited to work locally and provincially with our team to move this forward and make a difference.” – Louise Schweitzer, Executive Director—North East Outreach & Support Services (SASS Member Agency)

“Sexual violence is a pervasive and complex issue that requires a community response. The Saskatchewan Sexual Violence Action Plan identifies agencies and institutions which play a role in reducing incidents of sexual violence and improving outcomes for those who have been impacted.” – Lisa Miller, Executive Director—Regina Sexual Assault Centre (SASS Member Agency)

“The Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre as a member of SASS is proud to be delivering this Saskatchewan Violence Action Plan to the Saskatchewan people. The vast numbers of survivors of sexual assault in desperate need of services and support, speaks to the urgency of this issue. In the last few years many survivors have taken the brave step of breaking their silence about their victimization, drawing attention to their needs, and saying enough is enough. We, as citizens of this province, now need to break our silence as well. It is time for us all to come together to say, ‘We hear you, and we will work for you.’ This plan is an important first step in calling us all to action.” – Faye Davis, Executive Director—Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre (SASS Member Agency)

“West Central Crisis & Family Support Centre is enormously proud to share and partner in the release of the first ever Saskatchewan Sexual Violence Action Plan, that challenges harmful behaviors and attitudes that contribute to sexual and gender-based violence. The 22 Actions proposed in this Plan will strengthen initiatives and build upon the existing programs (Sexual Violence Support Programs at West Central Crisis) while inviting our communal partners, leaders and communities to harness societal change in creating safer communities and province. This Action Plan represents and honours the voices of survivors of sexual violence, including those survivors of West Central Saskatchewan and is the direct result of devoted, passionate and hard work of the SASS employees, advisory committee, community-based agencies, law enforcement, provincial, federal, and Indigenous governments. Congratulations everyone, excited for action.” – Michelle Weber, Executive Director—West Central Crisis & Family Support Centre Inc. (SASS Member Agency)

“As Minister for Women and Gender Equality, I am delighted that my department has helped fund Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan (SASS) as it developed Working Together, the Saskatchewan Sexual Violence Action Plan. SASS has been working with Saskatchewan agencies that support victims of sexual violence for 35 years, helping them to end sexual violence by enhancing resources, building capacity and creating partnerships. SASS has worked within Saskatchewan and in collaboration with kindred organizations across Canada. Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan’s commitment to ending sexual violence aligns with the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing gender equality. Canada’s Department for Women and Gender Equality is a center of gender expertise with a mandate that includes sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Our department and SASS are allies in the struggle to end gender-based violence and improve access to justice. My colleagues and I are proud to be associated with Working Together.” – The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.

“Sexual violence is heart wrenching. It has significant impacts on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of women, men, children and youth; it is a pain that is carried throughout the lives of all affected; it impacts all sectors of society; and it is preventable. I commend Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan for having the foresight to bring a diverse group of experts and advocates together to develop this Sexual Violence Action Plan. It is comprehensive and strategic, and we join the call for all levels of government to support its implementation.” – Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Vice Chief Heather Bear

“Our research team is grateful for the courage, candour, and clarity of survivors whose experiences and expertise have helped us confront the root causes of sexual violence and commit to working together for change that will make Saskatchewan a safe, supportive place for all.” – Dr. Isobel Findlay, Co-chair of the Community-University Institute for Social Research—University of Saskatchewan

“Our research team has been struck by the enormous energy women in particular, although not exclusively, spend navigating structural violence. Many study participants were supporting other community members, while facing harsh conditions in their own careers and personal lives. Sexual assault is both a serious problem in our province, and, at the same time, reflects larger systems of social violence.” – Dr. Marie Lovrod, Community-University Institute for Social Research—University of Saskatchewan

“I am pleased to have provided input into this important five-year plan designed to challenge attitudes that lead to sexual violence and improve the response to those who do. This plan builds on existing supports while calling on everyone in our communities to become involved. Whether you are a medical professional, work in the justice system or are a friend or family member of someone who has experienced sexual violence, there are resources available to help you support survivors. This plan provides direction on how to get that information into our communities so that we can all be part of the change.” – Jo-Anne Dusel, Provincial Coordinator—Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS)