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PG’s Sexual Assault Centre travels to assist remote communities

Sexual assault services can be hard to access for some of BC’s northern communities, but the Prince George Sexual Assault Centre is reaching out.

Lynnell Halikowski from the centre said they’re making a monthly flight out to Kwadacha to assist the community wherever they can.

“I think it’s been three, maybe four years that we’ve had developed a program where we fly into the community, and we provide group counselling, individual and group services. But really the focus of going into the community is to build capacity within the community.”

She added this means being able to respond to sexual assaults, responding to domestic violence, building protocols on how to respond to these things, as well as working with other community partners like the RCMP.

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Halikowski noted that the focus for these remote services is on Kwadacha right now, as they try and sort out the logistics of how to access some of the other communities looking for their services.

“I just think it’s really, really important while we’re providing services to remote communities when folks come in, that when we go back into their communities that we’re not just there providing services, we’re actually assisting and building the infrastructure, and helping develop responses that are really community led. So that we’re not going in and telling folks what they should be doing, they’re telling us their need, and we’re sort of sharing some of the models that may work.”

“I think there’s harm that’s done when we go into any community and act like we’re the experts on how they should be doing things,” added Halikowski.

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