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Dismantling the Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault

Social Change

Public concern about the treatment of sexual assault victims in the criminal justice system has reached new heights, as has public pressure to reduce systemic barriers to reporting this violent crime. The Globe and Mail has been shining a spotlight on the high proportion of sexual assault reports that are dismissed as unfounded, as well as on multiple cases where judges have grossly mishandled sexual assault trials.

The YWCA Metro Vancouver is excited to be embarking on an innovative project supported by Status of Women Canada and in partnership with West Coast LEAF, called "Dismantling the Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault." The project aims to identify strategies to reduce barriers in the justice system for sexual assault survivors through dialogue among key stakeholders–including frontline anti-violence activists and service providers, police, former Crown, retired judges, academics and defence counsel. The project will look at how the justice system can better support victims of sexual assault while also respecting the constitutional and human rights of accused persons.

We invite you to participate in a project that will identify issues women face when deciding whether to report sexual assault and help improve criminal justice system responses to sexual assault.

We can support your participation in the project by offering reimbursement for public transit. Child care, language interpretation and peer counseling are available at no cost during your participation. Deadline is November 20.

Criteria for participation

  • Have experienced sexual assault in BC within the last five years
  • 19 years of age or older
  • Not currently involved in a matter with the police or before the courts
  • Living as a woman now and at the time of the assault

You can learn more about the project or set up an interview by contacting Yasmin at dismantlingthebarriers@ywcavan.org | 604 216 1672

YWCA Metro Vancouver raises awareness of the effects of violence against women and educate youth about healthy relationships. We also fight for reforms and supports that help women make the successful transition to economic independence and to live free from violence and abuse.  You can find more information and resources about leaving abusive relationships here.

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