“We looked into it a couple of years ago and found that 15 to 20 per cent of our clients were coming from that area,” said RSAC Executive Director Lisa Miller. “We really recognized there was a need in Moose Jaw”.
Around $18,900 from the provincial Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund is helping fund the expansion.
With the funding, Miller says the RSAC plans to hire a new part-time counsellor who will offer one-on-one services two days a week in Moose Jaw.
“We started looking at how can we make our services more accessible for people rather than them having to drive that half hour to an hour to receive counselling,” Miller said.
Last year, the Moose Jaw Police Service investigated 44 incidents of sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon and sexual interference offences.
In 2018, they investigated 58 cases and in 2017, 41 cases.
“If you take the number of sexual assaults reported to police, that’s approximately five to eight per cent,” Miller said. “You do the math and that will tell you how many people are out there who may need our help.”
The new funding may not help meet the demand for very long, though.
Miller said the $18,974 will help fund the new position for about a year.
She said she hopes that year will help shed a light on the demand for sexual assault services in Moose Jaw, and that more funding will follow as a result.
“We’re well aware that once we’re down there, and we have services in the community, that the need will be there and probably exceed capacity. So our hope is that (services) will increase in time.”
Miller said she hopes to have the position filled by the end of the year.
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