Commencing in 2016, West Coast LEAF partnered with the YWCA-Metro Vancouver on a project aimed at identifying strategies to reduce barriers in the justice system for sexual assault survivors through dialogue among key stakeholders, including frontline anti-violence activists and service providers, police, former Crown, retired judges, academics, and defense counsel.
In fall 2018, we released We Are Here: Women’s Experiences of the Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault, which centers women’s experiences of the devastating impacts of sexual assault. Throughout this project we have heard that community-based integrated supports have the potential of improving a survivor’s engagement with the justice system following sexual assault.
As a result, in June 2019, we sent a letter urging the government of British Columbia to invest in a rights-based framework for survivors of sexual assault by committing to provide dedicated, secure, and sustainable funding for community-based sexual assault crisis response teams and integrated sexual assault clinics across British Columbia.
We are joined in this ask by a growing number of umbrella and direct-service organizations that have been working tirelessly to support sexual assault survivors across BC, including:
- Atira Women’s Resource Society
- Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society
- Chilliwack Community Services
- Ending Violence Association of British Columbia
- South Okanagan Women in Need Society
- Surrey Women’s Centre
- Tri-City Transitions Society
- Vancouver Sexual Assault Centre
- Women Against Violence Against Women
- YWCA-Metro Vancouver