The Saskatchewan government, with the support of Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan and their 13 member agencies, including Envision Counselling and Support Centre, has proclaimed this week as Sexual Assault Awareness Week. The week comes just after a major research report called Sexual Violence in Saskatchewan: Voices, Stories, Insights and Actions from the Front Lines, was released. The report showed the state of sexual violence in Saskatchewan. 

“Sexual violence is a serious problem in our province,” said Kerrie Isaac, Executive Director at SASS. “Sexual Assault Awareness Week assists us in highlighting this important issue. It also shows survivors that help is available and demonstrates to the public what everyone can do to end sexual violence in Saskatchewan.” 

Julie Dzuba, the Outreach Co-Ordinator with Envision Counselling and Support here in southeast Saskatchewan, said they have been noticing an increase in calls about sexual violence, in particular as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. 

“It is something we are seeing a rise on, and we want to make sure that people are really aware that sexual violence is occurring, and there are ways you can reach out and be there for individuals in your life that might be experiencing sexual violence,” Dzuba explained. 

To help build awareness, Envision is launching a new campaign called “No Story Left Behind”. The social media campaign is intended to highlight the issue in Saskatchewan while sharing the stories from survivors and providing resources for survivors and the general public. Throughout the week, the campaign will be visible on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

“There is no place in Saskatchewan for sexual violence and abuse,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said in a written release.  “This week is an opportunity to renew our commitment to stand up against violence, support survivors and promote healthy and respectful relationships.” 

This year, the Saskatchewan government is spending $1.6 million to agencies that provide direct support to victims of sexual violence.