Government to offer free legal advice for survivors of sexual violence

by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta says a new pilot program will assist survivors of sexual violence with understanding their rights and provide options as they seek healing and justice.

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton received $700,000 from the Status of Women to create, implement and evaluate three-year pilot program giving sexual violence survivors free, confidential legal advice.

The program will launch in November and be open to adult survivors of all genders who have experienced sexual violence in Alberta, regardless of how much time has passed since the incident.

Many survivors do not report sexual violence incidents because they fear they’ll be dismissed or re-traumatized, or they don’t know how to navigate the process.

The government says the program will give survivors a better understanding of their legal options, including accessing the criminal justice system, submitting a human rights complaint or pursuing a civil claim.

The pilot program will offer free legal advice in communities served by the Elizabeth Fry Society, including Edmonton, Stony Plain, Morinville, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Ponoka, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Red Deer and some Indigenous communities.

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