May 06, 2019

Province Supports Sexual Assault Case Review Pilot Project in Regina

The Status of Women Office and the Ministry of Corrections and Policing are partnering with Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan and the Regina Police Service to support a pilot project of the Philadelphia Model at the Regina Police Service.

The Philadelphia Model allows experts in sexual violence to work with police agencies to review sexual assault and abuse cases to ensure investigations are thorough and properly classified.  The pilot will allow the Regina Police Service to train with Canadian Philadelphia Model expert Sunny Marriner to implement the model.  The pilot is expected to last approximately 17 months.

“Ending sexual assault and abuse is bigger than any one organization,” Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office Tina Beaudry-Mellor said.  “It’s an issue that will need all of us – government, community, individuals – to work together to solve.  A big part of that is also working together to understand the challenges survivors face in reporting sexual assault and how those cases are handled.  We are grateful to be working alongside strong partners in our community.”

The implementation of the Philadelphia Model in other Canadian cities has prompted police to reopen sexual assault files that were previously classified as unfounded.

“Saskatchewan stands with survivors of sexual violence in its commitment to ensure all cases are thoroughly investigated,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said.  “The Philadelphia Model has shown great promise in other jurisdictions, and we are eager to see how it can be implemented and adapted in our province.”

“This pilot project is part of an overall commitment to being better, specifically: to enhance the service we provide to survivors of sexual assault and violence in our community,” Regina Police Service Chief Evan Bray said.  “A trauma-informed approach, in concert with this advocacy review process, will improve accountability, transparency and overall service to our community.”

The Ministry of Corrections and Policing and the Status of Women Office together are providing $122,000 in funding to cover the cost of the pilot project.  Along with training, the funding also creates a co-ordinator position, for the duration of the pilot project, within Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan.

“Our organization is thrilled to receive the financial support from the provincial government,” Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan Executive Director Kerrie Isaac said.  “Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with community, identified barriers that many individuals who experience sexual violence encounter when reporting.”

The pilot project begins in the summer of 2019.