Sexual assault response team launched in Lloyd

By Lloydminster Source staff

April 19, 2016 6:00 AM

Survivors of sexual assault can expect to receive a coordinated and collaborative response when they seek support from agencies in Lloydminster.
Facilitated by the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS), a year long planning and implementation process involving government agencies, hospital, police and community-based services developed a Sexual Assault Response unique to this community.
Funded by Status of Women Canada and the Government of Alberta, this team is one of five new SART’s ((Sexual Assault Response Teams) in the province of Alberta,  and the first teams established in 10 years.
“Situated on the provincial border poses some unique challenges in providing services, including client eligibility for services, funding for agencies and reporting structures,” said Barbara Hagen, collaborative community response coordinator at AASAS.
“In order to effectively serve victims of sexual assault, key responding agencies in Lloydminster developed their own methods of working together despite the border challenges,” she said.
The creation of a specialized SART complements existing collaborative approaches that are in place to respond to crises in Lloydminster.”  Hagen added the initiative did not inject new programs or staff into the community.
“AASAS supported the SART development by sharing promising practices, facilitating the process and providing specialized training and sustainability resources,” she said.
“Every community determines the scope and direction of their model, their ownership and investment in the creation of their SART increases long term sustainability.”
In addition to the team in Lloydminster, four other communities have developed their own response models.
The communities of Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie and Rocky Mountain House are also participating in this initiative.
Just as the existing SART’s in Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary and Lethbridge all operate from different models, each new SART will reflect the unique needs and capabilities within their communities.
The participating agencies in Lloydminster worked with AASAS to develop collaborative working guidelines, provide feedback on the development of resources and attend specialized sexual assault training. Key sexual assault responders from Lloydminster RCMP, the Emergency at Lloydminster Hospital, Midwest Victim Services Unit, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Child and Family Services, Public Health/Sexual Health, and Lloydminster Sexual Assault and Information Centre championed this initiative from start to finish.
Moving forward, they will continue to evaluate and refine their responses to survivors of sexual assault and plan to collaborate with other SART’s in Alberta.

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