The Saskatchewan government has launched a new program to provide free legal advice to victims of sexual violence.
Dubbed The Listen Project, the new initiative is hosted by Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan and funded by the Department of Justice Canada through the Federal Justice Victims Fund. Victims of sexual violence can contact The Listen Project and receive a referral for up to two hours of free legal advice and information, and an additional two hours can be approved where needed.
Justice Minister Don Morgan said the program shows the government’s support for victims.
“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,” Morgan said in a statement. “The government stands with these survivors, and this program is a testament to our ongoing commitment to address the problem.”
Morgan’s comments were echoed by Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. In a statement, Wilson-Raybould said sexual violence often goes unreported, which means it is important to support those who do report their victimization.
“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,” she said. “I am very pleased that the Government of Canada is able to fund this important initiative.”
The program is open to any victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment or historical sexual abuse. There are no age restrictions or limitations on how much time has passed since an incident of sexual violence; the only limitation on the program is that the incident of violence must have taken place within Saskatchewan.
Even those who have not reported the incidents to police can take advantage of the new service.
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