The City of North Battleford is joining other communities across Saskatchewan by raising flags and awareness to an issue that has been silent too long; sexual assault.
Members of the Battlefords and Area Sexual Assault Centre (BASAC) joined Mayor Ryan Bater for an official flag raising ceremony and the reading of a proclamation designating this week as Sexual Assault Awareness Week in the municipality.
“This is just a small part of what we play in not only raising awareness to the issue of sexual assault but also for the organization (BASAC),” Bater said. “This group does a tremendous amount of work for our community and I respect that.”
Statistics Canada shows that one in three women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. According to Amber Stewart, executive director of BASAC, events such as this raise awareness to the problem of sexual assault and empowers those affected with the strength to speak out.
She said Saskatchewan currently has one of the highest rates of interpersonal violence (spousal or family abuse) in Canada and that women and children experience the highest rates of victimization in the province which is at crisis levels in some communities.
Stewart also anticipates that the need for BASAC services will only continue to grow as more awareness is provided.
“We’ve already seen demand for what we do increase since 2015,” she added. “With movements like #metoo and #timesup, sexual survivors are reaching out for help and taking the brave step of disclosing that they are survivors."
Stewart added she was grateful with what the local community did for the organization.
“We certainly appreciate that the City of North Battleford and the Battlefords as a whole have been so supportive in our centre,” Stewart said. “I would hate to think what our organization might look like without them being so accommodating.”
If you are a victim of sexual assault or would like more information what Battlefords and Area Sexual Assault Centre does click here.
On Twitter: @battlefordsNOW
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