In 2005, the second provincial action plan to respond to violence against women, “A Better World for Women – Moving Forward” was announced. The Women’s Equality Branch (formerly the Women’s Issues Branch) was mandated to coordinate the implementation of this provincial action plan. Expanding sexual assault awareness and service delivery across the province was a central component of this action plan.
The Women’s Equality Branch partnered with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre (FSACC), the only sexual assault crisis centre in the province, to develop and implement the Provincial Strategy on Sexual Assault Services.
The Provincial Strategy on Sexual Assault Services responds to the identified need to enhance, expand, create, and coordinate community based sexual assault services in New Brunswick.
FSACC works closely with an advisory committee, domestic violence outreach workers, family violence prevention networks, and many other partners throughout the province to improve community responses to sexual assault. Some of the activities that have been accomplished through the Provincial Strategy include:
- Provincial awareness campaigns, including Sexual Assault Awareness Month in May.
- The development and delivery of Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention Training, an intensive 5-day training for service providers, provided in both official languages.
- The development and delivery of facilitator training in The Empowerment Project and Man to Man toolkits in working with youth in issues around sexual violence.
- The development of resources on a variety of topics including services for sexual assault survivors, influencing policy, and community awareness.
- A Comprehensive Sexual Violence Framework to influence provincial policies, protocols and operations, in partnership with provincial government departments such as Public Safety, Justice, Women’s Equality Branch, Health, and Education.
- The enhancement of several community based sexual assault services including “Libère-toi”, a sexual assault crisis line located in the Acadian Peninsula, Sexual Assault Response Teams created in Saint John and in Fredericton, as well as many other community initiatives.
The Provincial Strategy uses a grassroots approach in order to reflect community needs, and better implement community responses. The work of the Provincial Strategy is always influenced by the needs of community members in all areas of the province. The Provincial Strategy is proactive in getting feedback, input, and contributions from community members in a wide variety of disciplines, and is inclusive of Francophone, Anglophone, Aboriginal and all other populations.