The Hard Truth
Of victims don’t file a police report
Of victims maintain contact with the abuser
Cases of sexual assaults reported to police in Canada results with the perpetrator being sentenced with jail time.
South Okanagan Sexual Assault Response Team
About the Team
The South Okanagan SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) (SOS) plays a powerful role in improving the collective response to sexual violence through increasing support to the process of healing from trauma. SART teams hold the promise of improving victim experiences, increasing prosecution rates, collaborating with other providers to create wraparound services, and reducing the prevalence of sexual violence.
Members of SOS can include but are not limited to trained trauma-informed volunteers, program coordinators, sexual assault victim advocates, community-based victim services, sexual assault nurse examiners, law enforcement, counsellors, and other mental health service providers.
Collective goals of SOS include seeking to improve victims’ experience by addressing barriers, improving how providers and the community treat survivors, ensuring complete and comprehensive service delivery, and increasing offender accountability by increasing reporting and conviction rates.
Awareness: SOS works to increase public and government awareness of issues involving sexual abuse and sexual assault and the impacts they have throughout the South Okanagan.
Access: SOS strives to ensure that all the South Okanagan people affected by sexual abuse and sexual assault have access to healing and recovery programs, services and supports. This includes, but is not limited to transportation, accompaniment, and advocacy.
We believe anyone can be a victim of sexual violence.
We believe anyone affected by sexual violence has the right to access effective, affordable, and timely services that are distinct and specialized.
We believe everyone has the capacity and resiliency to recover from sexual violence.
We believe victims of sexual violence are not to blame and perpetrators must be held accountable.
We believe society minimizes the impact of sexual violence on individuals and that minimization has devastating outcomes for survivors.
We believe society minimizes the crime of sexual violence, and this must change to address and prevent issues of violence.
We believe services addressing sexual violence needs to be delivered in an inclusive, respectful, and equitable manner regardless of ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or ability.
We believe there is a need for increased recognition and support for existing and emerging sexual assault services in the South Okanagan.
We believe education and awareness initiatives need to be targeted at everyone.
We believe prevention initiatives are not to be targeted to survivors or potential survivors but towards perpetrators and potential perpetrators as well as those who can intervene.
We believe that treatment is a form of prevention because healthy individuals and healthy communities break the cycle of abuse.
We believe in the need for treatment and for greater access to treatment for perpetrators of sexual violence.