Women who have experienced sexual assault now have a new centre in Greater Sudbury that will provide ongoing support and counselling. Today, Health Sciences North/Horizon Santé-Nord (HSN) officially opened the Voices For Women – Sudbury Sexual Assault Centre.
Located in downtown Sudbury, Voices For Women is a community-based centre offering ongoing, longer-term sexual assault counselling and support services for women. Clients of Voices For Women will have access to computers and a resource library, and workshops promoting safety and wellness. The staff of Voices For Women will also conduct research and professional training and take part in community advocacy on issues related to violence and sexual assault against women.
"We wanted Voices For Women based in the community, because we want to provide that longer term support and counselling as close to home as possible for our clients," says Nancy Horan, Coordinator of the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program at HSN. "Women who've experienced sexual assault need to know there is a place in the community they can go to for ongoing support and a place where their voices be heard."
Attending the opening ceremony were several community leaders including the Honourable Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Greater Sudbury Deputy Mayor Joscelyne Landry-Altman, and Greater Sudbury Police Services Deputy Chief Al Lekun.
"Today is a very special day for our community. Local victims are sure to benefit from this centrally located community-based sexual assault centre, which will provide them with the best resources to assist them in rebuilding their lives," says the Honourable Rick Bartolucci, Sudbury MPP and Minister of Northern Development and Mines.
"Centres such as Voices for Women and the services they provide are invaluable to the health and wellbeing of women of our community who are victims of sexual abuse and physical assault." said Mayor Marianne Matichuk, "I would like to congratulate Health Sciences North on the official opening of Voices for Women – Sudbury Sexual Assault Centre, and thank the Province of Ontario and the Ministry of the Attorney General for their support in making this Centre a reality."
"We commend the collaborative efforts of the Provincial Government and Health Sciences North to reestablish a Sexual Assault Centre in our community that will provide the resources, programming and ongoing support for the victims of sexual assault," says Al Lekun, Deputy Chief of the Greater Sudbury Police Service. "The Voices for Women Sexual Assault Centre will provide an invaluable service for women who have been victimized by sexual assault and will promote and enhance their healing, safety, wellness.
The Voices For Women – Sudbury Sexual Assault Centre is funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of the Attorney-General.
Voices for Women is one of three distinct services provided by HSN's Violence Intervention and Prevention Program. The Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Treatment program is based at the Ramsey Lake Health Centre and provides 24/7 medical treatment, forensic evidence collection and counselling to adults experiencing immediate, intimate partner violence and sexual assault. The Pediatric Abuse Referral and Evaluation program is also based at the Ramsey Lake Health Centre, and provides emergency medical treatment, forensic evidence collection, and counselling for children under the age of 16 who are victims of sexual abuse and physical assault.