Ksan Society launches support program for sexual assault survivors

ksan

The Ksan Society in Terrace has developed a new program that provides support to survivors of sexual assault.

It offers immediate care to survivors and also helps connect them to services such as medical care, counselling, the R.C.M.P. or other community services.

"It's just to get them that immediate care and immediate support they want," said program coordinator Haley Butti.

"In any traumatic experience, no survivor should be left alone and unsupported. And that's the point of [the program]. In that moment, a lot of the time -- due to stress, shock, fear, embarrassment -- a lot of survivors don't know how to get in contact with these services. I'm there to provide those services on the spot."

The program also offers third-party reporting services to survivors, which means that they can report a sexual assault to the police on a survivor's behalf. 

However, Butti says that people who access the program don't have to report their assault. Rather, the program will respond to their specific needs.

"With our program, we work with like a trauma-informed lens. We really want to make sure that we see them as survivors. We don't view them as victims. It's completely based on their needs and what they want to do, and the agency is always returned to their survivor. So at any point, they are welcome to say no and they are welcome to ask for any services."

Survivors of sexual assault can access the service by calling a designated phone line open 24 hours a day. 

Funding for the program is provided by the Ending Violence Association of B.C. through a grant from the provincial government.