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Alberta government stepping up for sexual violence survivors in rural communities

Survivors of sexual violence in rural communities are to benefit from increased support from the Alberta government as it rolls out funding to support local groups.

The Lloydminster Sexual Assault Servicese will receive $42,000 for counselling and other support services for survivors. The government’s investment  is being distributed to all provincially funded sexual assault centres based on a percentage of their annual grant allocations.

Director of Specialized Supports at LSAS, Maria Sarcauga-Gantefoer says the local group is expecting increased demand for their services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year we are anticipating an influx of clients and there is definitely going to be more requests for services. Money will go towards supporting those clients and providing those services.”

Sarcauga-Gantefoer adds LSAS is grateful for the support of the Alberta government.

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“At a time like this, it’s so important for us to get this funding. We are always appreciative of the Alberta government for their support. We will have a resource to provide the help for the clients we will have.”

Executive Director of the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services, Deb Tomlinson makes statistical reference to the level of sexual violence provincially.

“With 43 per cent of Albertans experiencing at least one incident of sexual violence in their lifetime, along with growing numbers of survivors reaching out to sexual assault centres for support, additional funding from the Government of Alberta is now more important than ever.”

Garth Rowswell, MLA Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright says it’s important to have these supports available close to home.

“The Alberta government understands how critical it is for survivors of sexual violence to have access to quality front-line services in the communities they call home. I’m proud to see our government investing in these supports in our rural communities.”

More information on the range of support services available locally can be found on the LSAS website.

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