An online resource for sexual assault survivors designed by Sex Crimes investigators in partnership with the community was launched at police headquarters March 27.
The YourChoice.to website was unveiled in front of the police officers and community members who contributed to the process to build an online resource in multiple languages.
Detective Constable Deanna Gagliardi said Project Guide started about two years ago.
“As a police service, we knew we could do more,” she said. “We knew that telling survivors of sexual violence to call police wasn’t enough. We knew we had the responsibility to provide people impacted by sexual violence with as much information as possible so they could make choices that were right for them. It is with those goals in mind that the Project Guide team embarked on the development of this innovative and survivor-oriented initiative.”
Project Guide has three components – an interactive website, an information guide available in 12 languages (on the site) and a creative visual campaign that encourages survivors to make the right choice at the right time.
“Our choice campaign is a creative and multi-faceted media movement intended to help us spread the word that while no one chooses to be sexually assaulted, what happens next is resolutely their choice,” said Gagliardi.
Chief Mark Saunders said YourChoice.to helps empower survivors of what is the most under-reported crime.
“By having this program out there and by pushing it through posters, videos, word of mouth and a whole host of other avenues, we have the opportunity to have a much better story,” said Chief Mark Saunders. “We know that sexual assault investigations are the most under-reported crimes in our society right now and this is one aspect of trying to create the awareness and recognition pieces while helping with the survivor maintaince piece.”
The Ministry of Community & Correctional Services provided funding for the project.