NL Gazette

Volunteers in western Newfoundland willing to aid targets of sexual assault

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • There is a new sexual assault trouble line in the Corner Brook region, first outside St. John’s.
  • The Sexual Assault Response and Advocacy — or SARA — assistance in the Corner Brook location can get calls or texts. 

Sexual assault sufferers to be helped by volunteers: 

Targets of sexual assault in the Corner Brook site have somewhere new to turn: a 24-hour problem line that’s just been fixed up. 

The Sexual Assault Response and Advocacy line, called SARA, was launched in late February after a dozen volunteers got ample training. As a result, we are now open to supporting voices on the other end of the phone line. 

The project facilitator for SARA, Valetta Colbourne, stated it’s an initiative the Corner Brook Status of Women Council has desired to launch for almost a decade. But having all associates onside, including stakeholders injustice and health care, was required. 

After a court judgment in the high-profile sexual assault claim against RNC officer Doug Snelgrove in St. John’s, Colbourne stated the determination was made to prevent delaying and move forward with the trouble line. 

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Sex assault victims to be helped by NL volunteers

“We thought we couldn’t just keep sitting and protesting and writing angry letters. We have to put our boots to the field and get something done,” stated Colbourne.

Colbourne told the Western Regional Health Authority, RCMP, RNC, Grenfell Campus, and Memorial University have all been supportive.

For individuals of all genders

Although a women’s association set up the new emergency line, Colbourne said it seeks to support anyone age 16 and older who has undergone a sexual attack, however of the victim’s gender identity.

The service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a prepared volunteer willing to accept calls or texts and offer help. 

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