Police to provide stronger support for survivors of sexual violence

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L-R: Chief Roger Chaffin, Calgary Police Service, Minister McLean and Minister Ganley announce a new initiative to assist law enforcement agencies investigating sexual violence.

by Morinville News Staff

Police have a new best practice guide for investigating sexual violence cases, something the Government of Alberta says will mean better support for survivors.

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General released the guide late last week, providing police officers with up-to-date information about sexual violence.

The government says the new tool outlines investigative procedures that will lead to more reliable. At the same time, the government says the guide respects the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of survivors.

“The decision to report sexual violence is deeply personal and can be extremely difficult,” said Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. “Only a fraction of sexual assaults come to the attention of the criminal justice system each year. We hope these guidelines will give more survivors confidence that they will be treated with dignity and respect if they decide to come forward to police.”

The new guide ensures survivors receive appropriate follow-up support from Victim Service Units and other sources of medical and emotional care, even if the survivor has decided not to pursue a criminal complaint.

The Sexual Violence Police Advisory Committee (SVPAC), a group formed by Alberta Justice and Solicitor General (JSG) in 2015 to improve institutional responses to sexual violence, produced the guide.

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