The Government of Yukon and its partners on the Sexualized Assault Response Team (SART) are launching an engagement on the expansion of SART services in the Yukon’s rural communities.
SART provides a confidential network of services to victims and survivors of sexualized assault, with a focus on ensuring survivors have the social, medical and legal supports of their choice. The initial launch, which took place in Whitehorse in March 2020, included offering a 24-hour, confidential, toll-free, Yukon-wide support line for all victims and survivors of sexualized assault as well as Whitehorse-based services available to all Yukoners.
This spring’s engagement will support a commitment to better integrate SART services into communities in a way that meets their unique needs. Two separate contractors will lead the engagement on behalf of SART partners. Rumsey Consulting will engage using a trauma-informed and culturally-aware approach with Yukon First Nation governments, stakeholders and service providers, while Ipsos will engage victims and survivors of sexualized assault. Engagement with victims and survivors will include access to culturally appropriate support for participants.
The engagements will gather information on how best to approach and deliver SART services in Yukon communities and will result in a “What We Heard” report combining both engagements. The report will be available to the public in the fall and will anonymize participant feedback and identities. The information gathered will help the Government of Yukon and its SART partners to plan the SART services expansion in a way that addresses the unique needs and realities of rural communities.
Our government recognizes the need to improve social, medical and legal support for sexualized assault victims in Yukon communities. To expand the Sexualized Assault Response Team services across the territory, we are engaging with partners, First Nations governments, service providers and victims using a trauma-informed and culturally aware approach. This two-part engagement aims to gather information on existing formal and informal supports, identify strengths, challenges and gaps, and prioritize services and supports to be improved.
Minister of Justice and Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee
The Sexualized Assault Response Team ensures that people who experience sexualized assault can receive the victim-centered, trauma-informed and non-judgmental support they need. The introduction of the Yukon-wide 24/7 support phone line and services based in Whitehorse were an important first step. I look forward to the valuable information this engagement will provide so that we expand services in the way that best meets the needs of victims in rural communities.
Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate Jeanie McLean
SART is a network of partner agencies, including the Government of Yukon’s Women and Gender Equity Directorate, Department of Justice, and Health and Social Services; the RCMP; the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; the Yukon Hospital Corporation and the Yukon Women’s Transition Home.
Sexualized assault victims and survivors can choose when, how and what SART services they choose to access. SART provides the services requested, which can range from talking to someone and receiving emotional support to accompanied access to medical support and support with police reporting, and more.
The Yukon has one of the highest rates of sexualized violence in the country, with many cases going unreported. Women and girls aged 15-25, Indigenous people and 2SLGBTQIA+ people experience disproportionately high rates of sexualized violence.
To reach SART, Yukoners can phone 1-844-967-7275 from anywhere in the territory to speak with a trained professional, confidentially and anonymously, about options and to get support.