chvnradio.com

Now Playing What just played?

THE COLOR

ONE SURE THING

Listen Live

Survivors of sexual assault in Manitoba now have another option when coming forward to tell their stories.

Winnipeg Police, Manitoba RCMP the province and three community organizations have come together to implement Third Party Reporting.

That means if a survivor does not want to go to police, they can now report the details of their case anonymously to three community organizations, including Klinic Community Health Centre at 870 Portage Ave., Sage House at 886 Main Street and Heart Medicine Lodge at 455 McDermot Ave.

“It’s a little overdue but it’s very timely in a lot of ways,” Heart Medicine Lodge Executive Director Leslie Spillett said at Monday’s announcement. “We know that relationships are key to getting the confidence of people so they can and will share their story of sexual violence.”

“This is an incredibly important partnership between the police, justice and community-based organizations to ensure people have yet another option in the tool kit to allow them to come forward with their stories.”

Spillett says this will also help Indigenous women, who face higher levels of sexual assault than any other group.

Provincial Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Rochelle Squires, says sexual assault is an extremely underreported crime.

“The statistics support this,” Squires said. “We know that less than five per cent of individuals report an experience of sexual assault and only 17 per cent of sexual assault victims reported they consulted any support services.”

“We know providing options to survivors and ensuring they have control over what happens next is an important part of being trauma informed. Equally important is that by coming forward, survivors can become connected to the emotional and health supports they need.”

The way Third Party Reporting works is survivors of sexual assault will contact one of the three organizations to report the incident and then that information – with the exception of the survivor’s name – will be turned over to police. If the survivor ends up wanting to open a criminal investigation, those organizations will put them in touch with police when they are ready.

Both Manitoba RCMP and Winnipeg Police say Third Party Reporting does not replace traditional reporting but it is another option.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Scott Kolody and Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth both noted Third Party Reporting will not lead directly to criminal investigations, but it will provide them with valuable information that will be entered into the VICLAS system, which is a national database designed to track violent offenders.

Smyth says this will help them identify repeat offenders and trends.

“We’ll have the ability to see if other assaults that are similar,” Smyth said. “It doesn’t mean a criminal investigation, but it will give us a good sense of how much of it is happening in the community.”

Kolody says in order for case-by-case assaults to be investigated, eventually the victim will have to come to police.

He hopes that might be easier for them now that they have this new support.

“They are facing trauma, they have anxiety and sometimes they are intimidated to walk into a police station,” Kolody said. “This is information at the onset to make them feel comfortable coming forward, but at some point if criminal charges are going to be laid then that identification will have to be made.”

Klinic Executive Director Nicole Chammartin says their crisis line gets around 4,000 sexual abuse calls per year, but it’s too early to tell whether or not Third Party Reporting will lead to an increase.

“For some people making a formal report is not an option or it’s something they don’t feel safe doing and for others making no report doesn’t feel good,” Chammartin said. “There are a lot of reasons people choose not to report or disclose, and it’s really important to find ways to make sure those voices are heard and I think this is a really important step in doing so.”

Manitoba joins BC and Yukon as the only three jurisdictions that have implemented Third Party Reporting.

Manitoba nears organ and tissue donor goal

The City of Winnipeg is adding its voice to those promoting Manitoba's organ and tissue…

Safety ambassadors will walk Osborne Village streets

Like the Downtown, Exchange, and West End BIZ's before it, the Osborne Village BIZ is…

Winnipeg soaking in summer-like sun

Winnipeg doesn't need a whiteout party to get people outside. All it needs is a day that…

Local high school students double original goal for book drive

Students at Sisler High School set out to collect 700 books to distribute to low-income…

Where is God?

A nation already in mourning after the Humboldt bus tragedy is left reeling again after…

First +20° day of 2018 today

Winnipeg and much of southern Manitoba are in for a treat today.

Reaching every tribe and every nation

Churches and ministries across Winnipeg worked together recently to impact a people group…

Church gave up West End space to create brand new community

What started as a church giving up its space to help the neighbourhood has become a…

HSC program designed to care for sexual assault survivors in safe, supportive setting

Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre is trying to raise awareness of its Sexual Assault…

Police talk street party security

Winnipeg Police aren't planning any major changes to their operations at the next…

The Church's response to Toronto attacks

A day after a senseless act in Toronto claimed the lives of 10 people and injured 13…

Giving dignity to kids in care

After finding out that children within the Child and Family Services system in Manitoba…

"Be truthful": tips on answering kids' questions after violence

The news can be difficult even for adults. For kids, it might provide a sense of worry…

Missing teen last seen in Selkirk

Selkirk RCMP is seeking the public's assistance in looking for a missing teen.

Prime Minister issues statement on Toronto attack

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has released a statement on yesterday's van attack in…

Son of terrorist shares his story in Winnipeg

From being in a terrorist organization to being undercover and finding Christ, Mosab…

Province reviewing codes governing municipal official accepted behaviour

The province will be looking into how it can make changes to the Municipal Act and other…

RCMP fine motorcyclist nearly $3,000

Manitoba RCMP says a motorcyclist's need for speed was extremely dangerous and…

Nuclear threat in Osborne area unfounded

It was a tense evening for some residents in the Osborne area.

Upcycled bicycles for auction

Looking for a sweet new ride? Check out the City's annual unclaimed bike auction.