Justice and Public Safety
Executive Council
February 4, 2019

Survivors of Sexual Violence Receiving Much Needed Legal Support

In its first six months of operation, a legal support program for survivors of sexual violence has served over 50 clients.

In June, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, in collaboration with the Public Legal Information Association of NL (PLIAN) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre (NLSACPC), launched the program that offers free legal support to survivors of sexual violence.

The program offers up to four free hours of legal advice for victims of sexual violence and is available anywhere in Newfoundland and Labrador, or for those who experienced sexual violence in this province but are now living elsewhere, by telephone and e-mail. Trained staff assess and work with an individual’s particular needs and experiences, provide general legal information, supportive referrals, and trauma-informed responses to help people who have experienced sexual violence navigate barriers both within and outside the legal system.

In total, PLIAN and NLSACPC have recruited 20 lawyers throughout the province and next week a team is travelling to Labrador for in-person meetings with survivors – a first for the region.

“I want to thank the Federal Government for providing funding to make this three-year program possible. Our goal is to increase access to justice and support anyone from this province who has gone through a traumatic experience of sexual violence who may feel lost and unsure about their legal rights and options. I commend the lawyers who are taking part, and our program partners for stepping up to help survivors.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General

“This is an important program to help survivors of sexual violence and we are pleased to see the positive results from the first six months. We look forward to continued collaboration with community partners as we all work together to increase safety for everyone in our communities.”
Honourable Carol Anne Haley
Minister Responsible for the Status of Women

“We are very pleased with the first six months of the Sexual Violence Legal Support Service and grateful for our partners across the province who have helped promote the project and the roster of participating lawyers. Our organizations also recognize that there is still work to be done in expanding this service to reach even more clients. We look forward to continuing to work on reducing barriers and enhancing supports for any person in our province who has experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or any other form of sexual violence.”
Kevin O'Shea
Executive Director, Public Legal Information Association of NL (PLIAN)

“We are immensely thankful for the growing amount of survivors that have reached out to avail of the Sexual Violence Legal Support Service over the past six months. We continue to be amazed by the resiliency of people we are helping along their journey. Our work has been to really focus on reducing, addressing and navigating barriers while acknowledging and supporting the strength and courage of those directly impacted by sexual violence.”
Nicole Kieley
Executive Director, NL Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre (NLSACPC)

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Learn more

For information on justice services available to victims visit www.justice.gov.nl.ca/just/victim_services

For information on legal services visit publiclegalinfo.com/ external link icon

For information on crisis support services visit nlsacpc.com/ external link icon

Follow us on Twitter: @JPS_GovNLexternal link icon and @WPO_GovNLexternal link icon

Media contacts
Lesley Clarke
Justice and Public Safety
709-729-6985, 699-2910

Nancy Hollett
Women’s Policy Office
709-729-4934, 725-6078

Kevin O’Shea
Public Legal Information Association of NL

Nicole Kieley
Executive Director
NL Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre

2019 02 04                              11:45 a.m.