MIL-OSI Canada: Expansion of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program Will Offer More Wraparound Supports for Sexual Assault Survivors

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Source: Government of Canada regional news

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Joint Program from Ka Ni Kanichihk and Klinic Community Health will Offer Trauma Informed, Culturally Specific Care: Fontaine and Asagwara


Sexual assault survivors will now be able to see a sexual assault nurse examiner and receive wraparound supports at Klinic Community Health or Ka Ni Kanichihk through a partnership creating the Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Crisis Response Program, Families Minister Nahanni Fontaine, minister responsible for women and gender equity, and Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara announced today. 

“Survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence should be able to access trauma-informed, culturally specific care in their communities,” said Fontaine. “This program will make it possible for survivors to access a specially trained nurse outside of a hospital setting and get immediate and ongoing supports from clinicians, knowledge-keepers counsellors, elders and others.” 

The Manitoba government has provided $1.3 million to support the Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Crisis Response Program offered by Klinic and Ka Ni Kanichihk. The funding allows both Ka Ni Kanichihk and Klinic to provide forensic nursing services at each location as part of their supports for sexual violence survivors who do not require emergency medical treatment. 

“Offering this essential care in a community setting will help better ensure survivors have access to care that meets their needs,” said Asagwara. “These programs are important examples of the positive difference community-based and patient-centred care can make.”

Both programs support the government’s commitment to create a provincial Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) strategy to improve access to care, especially in rural and northern communities, noted Asagwara. 

“It is critical to have Indigenous-led, culturally safe, community-based services for the women that are most impacted by sexual assault and intimate partner violence,” said Dodie Jordaan, executive director, Ka Ni Kanichihk. “Giving choice of access to services to survivors is an important part of the healing journey. Ka Ni Kanichihk has a history of supporting survivors though our Heart Medicine Lodge 12-Week Healing Program and we remain committed to delivering this service in a way that honours the voices of survivors.”  

The new program is guided by a steering committee advised by Elder Leslie Spillett and Elder Billie Schibler and consists of members from Ka Ni Kanichihk, Klinic, the SANE program and other community partners. The voices of survivors are also included in the development and oversight of the program through the creation of a lived experience council, with members also on the project steering committee.  

“We have been fortunate to hear from and collaborate with many folks in the community to support the development of this program,” says Ayn Wilcox, executive director, Klinic Community Health. “The expertise and experience that both Ka Ni Kanichihk and Klinic Community Health bring to support survivors of sexualized violence ensures we can provide more options for support when people need it most.” 

Ka Ni Kanichihk, which means “those who lead” in Cree, is an Indigenous-led organization that provides prevention and intervention programs that help children, adults and families heal, succeed and become leaders. To access Indigenous-led, culturally safe support through Ka Ni Kanichihk including access to healing ceremonies, support from knowledge keepers, aunties and kookums, call 204-953-5820. 

Klinic provides a full range of health-related services and is committed to providing safe, quality holistic care that is person-centred. Services are available to survivors and their loved ones and include a 24-7 sexual assault crisis line, advocates, Indigenous cultural support and drop-in counselling. For more information on available supports at Klinic, visit https://klinic.mb.ca/health-care/community-based-sexual-assault-and-intimate-partner-violence-program/ or call 204-784-4090. 

Manitobans impacted by sexual violence can also call the Sexual Assault Crisis Line in Winnipeg at 204-786-8631 or toll-free throughout Manitoba at 1-888-292-7565. 

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For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications and Engagement: newsroom@gov.mb.ca.

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