Breaking the Silence. A Coordinated Response to Sexual Violence in Nova Scotia was launched yesterday in Kentville, Nova Scotia. It’s a three year plan with a budget of $6 million including $500,000 earmarked for students and youth groups to develop tools to teach people about sexual violence.
The ultimate goal of this work is to prevent sexual violence from occurring in the first place and for that I am happy. On the surface it appears to be a good strategy and I’m hopeful it will go a long way towards putting services in place that work for victims. It will also keep the conversation about consent in our province going and will put it in schools where it belongs.
As Premier Stephen McNeil said, “It’s a conversation we have been for too long unwilling to have.”
According to the announcement, over the next two years the province plans to implement the following actions:
- Help people get urgent support faster through existing crisis lines, online and other new technologies
- Expand the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program in Sydney and western Nova Scotia
- Create nine community support networks to coordinate counselling and support, visibility of services and help with navigation
- Establish a “prevention innovation fund to support best practices, research and evaluation
N.S. Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard on CTV Atlantic:
N.S. Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard announcing the plan: