Sexualized Assault Response Team implemented

The Government of Yukon is proud to officially launch the Sexualized Assault Response Team (SART) initiative.

Victims of sexualized assault now have more services available thanks to this initiative, which offers clients wrap-around emotional, medical and legal support.

Key components of SART include a 24-hour, confidential, toll-free, Yukon-wide support line for all victims of sexualized assault; victim support workers available for after-hours support on weekends; and a roster of on-call physicians specially trained to support victims of sexualized assault.

With SART, the choice of how to deal with a sexualized assault is up to the individual. There is no pressure to contact the police or do anything the individual is uncomfortable with. SART provides the services the individual asks for, even if that just means talking to someone and receiving emotional support.

With core components of the SART program in place, ongoing training and collaboration of SART agencies will continue to ensure the full network of services is responsive to the needs of victims. Work is also underway to better integrate SART services into communities in a way that meets their unique needs. Hospital services are currently available in Dawson City and Watson Lake.

Given the high rates of sexualized violence against women and girls, particularly Indigenous women and girls, in Yukon, the Sexualized Assault Response Team has been a long time coming. I am proud of the dedication and effort that went into the implementation of SART. We are not done. We know we need to strengthen partnerships with First Nations governments to make sure culturally relevant and informal support options are available to victims of sexualized violence. I’m looking forward to continuing this work.

Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate Jeanie Dendys

The goal of the Sexualized Assault Response Team is to provide the services victims need, when they need them so that they feel believed and supported. SART is designed to meet victims where they are and will support all victims of sexualized assault, inclusive of all genders.

Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee

As women, mothers, sisters and aunties, we understand the importance of this support team. We know that medical and mental health supports for victims are critical in terms of addressing needs. I am confident that the work that has gone into the SART initiative will provide the strongest support possible when victims of sexualized assaults need it the most.

Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost

The unfortunate prevalence of sexualized assault makes SART an especially timely and vital support network for victims. Yukon Hospitals’ staff and physicians are committed to providing safe, sensitive, victim-focused medical care as a key part of this network, and we’ll continue working closely with system partners to strengthen and expand this important program.

Yukon Hospital Corporation Chair Brian Gillen

We are pleased to see the culmination of over a decade of work by front line agencies for the creation of a Sexualized Assault Response Team. The creation of this team will allow organizations and agencies to work together increasing capacity and support for people who have experienced sexualized violence. Every day, we are confronted by the barriers to accessing support services for people experiencing violence. We are hopeful that the SART will deepen the accessibility, reliability and depth of supports available to survivors empowering them to make informed decisions in their journey.

Women’s Transition Home Executive Director Barbara McInerney

Quick facts 
  • Yukon has one of the highest rates of sexualized violence in the country and many cases are not reported. Several populations experience disproportionately high rates of sexualized violence, including women and girls between 15 and 25 years old, Indigenous people and LGBTQ2S+ folks.

  • The Sexualized Assault Response Team provides integrated services from different agencies. Supports include help with navigating processes, hospital services, reporting to RCMP, the support line and mental health services.

  • As a result of the Sexualized Assault Response Team, victims of sexualized violence in Whitehorse and rural communities have priority access to mental wellness care through Mental Wellness and Substance Use hubs.

  • With SART, you can phone 1-844-967-7275 anywhere in the territory, to talk to a trained professional confidentially and anonymously about your options and to get support.

Contact 

Stewart Burnett
Cabinet Communications
867-332-0480
stewart.burnett@gov.yk.ca

Breagha Fraser
Communications, Women’s Directorate
867-334-8235
breagha.fraser@gov.yk.ca

Fiona Azizaj
Communications, Justice
867-667-8148
fiona.azizaj@gov.yk.ca

Pat Living
Communications, Health and Social Services
867-667-3673
patricia.living@gov.yk.ca

News release #: 
20-046