Overview

The government of Alberta, across many ministries, is working to deliver a coordinated, province-wide response to sexual violence in Alberta. This response was developed through extensive consultation with frontline providers, advocates and survivors.

Commitment statement

"Every Albertan has the right to live free from violence. Perpetrators of sexual violence violate that right.

"The Government of Alberta does not tolerate these abuses of power and control. Though anyone can experience sexual violence, we recognize it impacts women and girls most.

"We stand firmly with survivors, advocates and community agencies to stop sexual violence in all its forms.

"We commit to supporting survivors, improving our response, and shifting to a culture of consent by advancing gender equality.

"We will work until all survivors are believed and supported, and this violence is eradicated from our communities."

Guiding principles

The following principles guide our work –

  • Sexual violence is a violation of the fundamental human right to safety and bodily autonomy.
  • Sexual violence is a form of gender-based violence and is rooted in systemic and structural inequality and social dynamics of power and oppression.
  • Sexual violence is a public health issue that causes significant trauma and impacts the physical, mental, emotional and sexual health outcomes of people, communities and societies.
  • Efforts to prevent and address sexual violence are based on the rights, needs and wishes of people who have experienced sexual violence.
  • Every survivor has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. They cannot be discriminated against based on:
    • gender identity or expression
    • age
    • race or ethnicity
    • ability
    • health status
    • citizenship status
    • any other characteristic or identity factor

How we are helping

Our commitment includes actions in 3 primary areas to stop and prevent sexual violence.

  • Shift the culture

    We are shifting to a culture of consent and advancing gender equality by:

  • Improve the response

    Every survivor deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

    We are working to ensure government, social service agencies, health care, law enforcement, schools and post-secondary institutions respond effectively to sexual violence, including sexual assault and sexual harassment, by:

    • supporting sexual assault centres and agencies with stable funding to increase access to counselling, cut wait times and provide crisis help in more communities
    • supporting services through the Sexual Assault Response Team of registered nurses and other professionals – in health, policing, victim services, counselling – who have specialized education in sexual assault care to work throughout the province
    • addressing sexual exploitation as part of a 9-point Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
    • addressing and preventing campus sexual violence
    • providing a forum through the Sexual Violence Police Advisory Committee, for police, government and partnering agencies to work together to identify service gaps, improve support for survivors and develop a consistent law enforcement response to sexual violence in Alberta. This includes the creation of a trauma and sexual assault investigation online module for all law enforcement, as well as:
      • an investigative card, to support police during a sexual assault investigation for individuals 18 and older
      • a best practice guide for law enforcement investigations into sexual violence
      • an information card, to help survivors know about their rights and available support services
      • the Edmonton Police Service, in collaboration with the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, launched Report A Sexual Assault Online
    • passed Bill 14: Provincial Court (Sexual Assault Awareness Training) Amendment Act in 2022, which requires Court of Justice judge applicants to complete sexual assault law and social context issues education to be eligible for appointment
    • improving access to sexual assault services in rural and remote communities
  • Support survivors

    Sexual violence is never okay. We stand firmly with survivors by:

    • funding training for rural health-care providers in order to better support survivors of sexual assault with North Western Polytechnic.
    • supporting a provincewide central platform for sexual assault support services with Alberta One-Line
    • funding women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help ensure no woman fleeing violence is turned away
    • providing funding to second-stage shelters to help women in need with longer-term accommodation
    • providing support and services to help victims and their families recover from the effects of a serious crime.
    • Responding to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) through:
      • the establishment of the Premier’s Council on MMIWG, which will use their expertise to inform government action to address violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2-spirit plus (2S+) people, and increase safety and economic security
      • implementing a strategic Alberta Roadmap on MMIWG that supports a comprehensive, collaborative and coordinated approach to preventing violence, and increasing safety and economic security for Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people
    • providing new occupational health and safety rules to help prevent workplace harassment and violence
    • piloting the free legal advice to survivors of sexual violence

Sexual Violence Awareness Month

May is Sexual Violence Awareness Month in Alberta.

Community organizations plan events across the province to raise awareness, challenge attitudes and promote a culture of consent.

Initiatives

Clare's Law

Safer Spaces certificate to end tenancy

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Protecting patients from sexual abuse or misconduct