The Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (ASAS) said sexual assault is on the rise in our province.
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A 2020 survey of 1,500 people by AASAS found that 43 percent of respondents had experienced sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.
Twenty-four percent of those respondents said it happened when they were children.
“Survivors are everywhere – they’re your friends, your family, your co-workers, and they’re coming forward, and they need help and we don’t have the capacity to meet the level of demand we’re seeing right now.” Have been,” said Deb Tomlinson, CEO of The Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services.
Tomlinson highlighted in some parts of the province, survivors have been waiting more than a year to receive counselling.
AASAS presented a business case to the province in 2020 to outline the need for increased funding.
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“Recently, we got our first response which was only one year of funding with no help for prevention, no help for justice; It’s not workable,” Tomlinson said
In a statement to Global News, the province said: “Sexual abuse centers provide vital support for victims affected emotionally, psychologically and physically by sexual violence. The Government of Alberta is committed to combating sexual violence and providing appropriate care to victims. committed to.
“After Budget 2020, we increased the budget for sexual assault centers over three years, bringing our ministry’s sexual violence prevention funding to $13.8 million in 2022-23. In total the government provides more than $17 million across the four ministries.
AASAS’s proposal will be reviewed in the coming months.”
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“We can’t wait for this to be an even greater crisis than it already is,” said Christine Casey, CEO of the Chinook Sexual Assault Center.
AASAS is seeking an additional $13 million in funding to meet the need for continuing care and early prevention resources.
Casey said there is a growing need in southern Alberta.
“We are in our fourth year of operations,” Cassie said. “Even last year, we saw a 37 percent jump in people seeking help from our agency, so we know that will continue to grow.”
It begs the reality that hope is uppermost in the mind of the government ahead of the next budget.
“The survivors are counting on you,” Tomlinson said.
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