October 21-25, has been proclaimed Violence Prevention Week in Saskatchewan.
Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan and Minister Responsible for Status of Women Office Tina Beaudry-Mellor say violence of any kind in Saskatchewan is unacceptable.
“The theme this year is Everyone’s Responsibility because we all have a role to play in helping to prevent violence,” Morgan said. “The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to working with police services and community-based organizations on efforts to make our communities safer.”
“The proclamation provides an opportunity to focus on violence prevention, improve the response to violence and reduce harm caused by violence to individuals and communities,” Beaudry-Mellor said.
The proclamation was requested by the group Saskatchewan Towards Offering Partnership Solutions (STOPS) to Violence.
“Saskatchewan Violence Prevention Week offers a dedicated opportunity to highlight the work that is being done here to address interpersonal violence, host events and share information and tools to support people to be safe and well,” STOPS to Violence Executive Director Tracy Knutson said. “Preventing violence and actively nurturing strong, safe communities and families truly is everyone’s responsibility.”
This year, STOPS has developed a tool kit for organizations and individuals to use as a guide for ways they can participate in Violence Prevention Week. More information can be found on http://www.stopstoviolence.com.
Over the past year, the province has also developed a number of new tools for those encountering violence and for those working to support victims.
• Passing The Saskatchewan Employment (Paid Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Violence Leave) Amendment Act, 2019. The Act allows survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence to take five paid days and five unpaid days to seek medical attention, access supports or move from an abusive relationship.
• The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, and Sask Sport Inc. recently launched a joint marketing campaign to increase awareness of the tools and resources available to assist coaches, athletes, officials, and parents on bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport.
• The Status of Women Office and the Ministry of Corrections and Policing are partnering with Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan and the Regina Police Service to support a pilot project of the Philadelphia Model. The Philadelphia Model allows experts in sexual violence to work with police agencies to review sexual assault and abuse cases to ensure investigations are thorough and properly classified.
• Passing The Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol (Clare’s Law) Act, which will allow police to release information about someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners whose safety may be threatened. The Act will come into force after the disclosure protocol and regulations are established.
October 20-25, is also Access to Justice Week, which highlights the resources that are available to help people access understandable, timely and affordable justice services.