VICTORIA, B.C - In response to the announcement of funding, new programs, and updated police standards to support survivors of sexual assault, Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, has released the following statement:
“I acknowledge the additional resources to support survivors of sexual assault in BC, and I am pleased to see stable funding, integrated regional support centres, and updated policing standards included in today’s announcement.
“That said, we still have a long way to go. Advocates and service providers have recently spoken about the high expenses they face operating sexual assault centres, and access varies widely across different communities.
“Police investigations and the legal system often further exacerbate the violence experienced by survivors, rather than providing justice. Today’s updated policing standards are an important step, but at an institutional level there remains a great deal of work to be done to ensure that police services are responsive to the needs of survivors.
“It is essential that survivors of sexual assault have the power to determine what happens to them: who they tell their story to, what steps are taken to achieve justice, and what support services they access. This is an integral component of healing.
“Moving forward, I urge the BC NDP to regulate the misuse of non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexualized violence, as these legal tools are being used systemically to silence survivors and protect perpetrators. I also want to reiterate, again, the importance of actioning all the recommendations of the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act, to ensure that police remain accountable to the public.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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