An initiative by Alberta Justice and Solicitor General has been developed to provide resource cards to those Albertans who report sexual violence. The resource cards will be distributed by the police service in order to help ensure sexual assault survivors know what rights and support services are available to them in their communities.
The sexual violence resource cards will not only contain contact information for agencies and organizations that provide support to these victims, but will also state the rights of survivors to have their needs and wishes respected at each stage of the criminal justice process. The cards were created not only as a way of helping improve support for survivors of sexual assault, but to also affirm that they should be treated with dignity, compassion and respect.
The resource cards will also ensure that the officers who are dealing directly with these victims will have all the information they need when responding to sexual assault calls. The Sexual Violence Police Advisory Committee that helped develop the cards is also working on provincial guidelines for Alberta that will be designed to ensure consistency in the investigation of sexual violence cases in the province, along with standardized training for investigators.
A direct quote from the card reads: “Remember, every reaction to sexual assault is different; your feelings are normal. Being a victim of a crime is never your fault”.
Note: This blog was written November 2017