Victims and survivors of sexual violence in Saskatchewan have another way to find their voice through a new provincial program.
The Listen Project launched Tuesday and provides people who have experienced sexual violence with up to two hours of free legal advice and information. For those who need it, an extra two hours of counsel may also be provided.
“We acknowledge that Saskatchewan has unfortunately high rates of sexual victimization and recognize sexual violence survivors often need help in responding to and overcoming such violence,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said in a news release.
“The government stands with these survivors, and this program is a testament to our ongoing commitment to address the problem of sexual violence in Saskatchewan.”
Canada’s justice department has provided funding for the pilot project until March 2021, through the Federal Justice Victims Fund.
“Sexual assault can have devastating and traumatic impacts on victims and survivors, yet is one of the most under-reported crimes in Canada,” Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould said in a news release.
“Our government is committed to breaking down the barriers that may discourage reporting, and to ensuring that we have the tools in place to support those who do come forward.”
The free project is available for any case involving sexual assault, sexual harassment at work or historical sexual abuse.
There is no age limit on who can seek help and it doesn’t matter how long ago the incident happened — just that it occurred in Saskatchewan.
Incidents also don’t have to be reported to police ahead of time to make people eligible for the program.
Survivors of sexual violence can contact The Listen Project online or by phone toll-free at 1-855-258-9415.