The Revelstoke community will gain education and insight into how to help if someone turns to them about a sexual assault. (Marcos Luiz photo)

Revelstoke to get sexual assault response education

A new support document launches this Wednesday

A presentation that will get everyone in the Revelstoke community on the same page when responding to someone who has experienced sexual assault will be held next week.

The Revelstoke Domestic Violence Steering Committee has been developing the Sexual Assault Response Assessment for the past two years and it is a combined effort from local services including, among others, Interior Health, the RCMP and the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society.

“Knowing how to help if there is an incident makes the world of difference at a time of trauma and shock for the victim,” shelter executive director Lynn Loeppky said.

As a growing resort community with a fluid population, incidents of sexual assault may become more prevalent here. Sexual assaults generally are life-altering for the victim yet they are under-reported so it is difficult to know how big the issue is.

In winter Revelstoke sees a high number of temporary residents and a high amount of substance use, which can be factors in sexual assaults. Late last year incidents, including one on the greenbelt, led local RCMP to warn the community of their safety.

“This isn’t about telling people to report incidents to police,” Loeppky said. “There are other ways and it can be anonymous. This will provide us with a better picture and the tools to help.”

The presentation is important general knowledge for everyone but business owners and bar managers in particular should attend as they may deal more frequently with incidents with staff members or customers.

The presentation is next Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Sandman Hotel’s banquet room at 1901 Laforme Boulevard. Pizza and juice will be provided. Nurses, RCMP officers, victim services and shelter staff will be available to answer questions

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