“Demand for Avalon’s leadership, services, programs and feminist analysis is at a higher level than it has been in the Centre’s 35 years and is still increasing.”
This is a multi-year trend in all sexual assault centres, correlating with high profile revelations of sexualized violence, in tandem with widespread use of topical tags in social media, such as #metoo, #timesup, and #nomore. Historically, sexualized violence and abuse was not reported for reasons including lack of systemic and societal support. However, this is now more often disclosed, and services sought as a result of more public support for survivors. More individuals are seeking immediate medical treatment, and seeking counselling for recent sexual abuse. More community and societal organizations and institutions are turning to sexualized violence experts such as Avalon for education, consultation, analysis, advocacy, and participation in collaborative initiatives.
“It’s not just that demand continues to grow for all of the programs and services, it’s that there is a different perspective on the demand now. People are saying ‘I want justice, I want repair, I want action taken around this.’”
Jackie Stevens, Executive Director
Avalon’s work in community education, advocacy, and public awareness is aimed at reducing the incidence of sexualized violence, and increasing justice and access to justice in the legal system. The volume of work in these areas in 2017/18 was, as in our other programs and services, unprecedented (see ‘Change’).
And, as in our other areas of activity, our strategic approach to the work in 2017/18—the first year of our three-year plan—is already pointing the way to new and better ways of serving our community and partnering with supporters. (See ‘Strategic’.)