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Provincial grant helps Lethbridge create safe reporting system for victims of sexual violence

The city has secure grant funding from the province aimed at improving public safety.

The City of Lethbridge and the Lethbridge Police Service applied for the Alberta Government’s Community Support Fund, which funds projects or initiatives aimed at improving the well-being of of Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual plus (2S+) people by supporting community-based projects or initiatives that address violence against and increase safety and economic security of Indigenous women, girls and 2S+people.

City Council approved the provincial grant funding amount of $200,000, be applied to the creation and delivery of a safe reporting program.

“We’re very grateful to our partners at the government of Alberta for providing the funding to assist in the creation and delivery of this program,” says Councillor, Jenn Schmidt-Rempel. “Building towards safer and healthier outcomes for our community is a top priority for council. This program will work to support those goals and will be another valuable resource for those who need it.”

The program will reduce barriers and broaden the range of choices for victims of sexual violence. It will be developed in partnership with the Blackfoot Resource Hub, the Sweetgrass Youth Alliance, Honouring Traditions and Reconciliation Society, the City’s Indigenous Relations Office, Alberta Health Services (AHS) Indigenous Wellness Core in the South Zone and the Lethbridge Police Service.

“We recognize that sexual violence is underreported and there is a significant community need for the creation of safe spaces and mechanisms for online reporting to help reduce barriers for survivors,” said Lethbridge police chief, Shahin Mehdizadeh. “The Lethbridge Police Service looks forward to partnering with the City of Lethbridge and other community stakeholders to provide resources that enhance supports to assist Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirt+ people.”

Two main goals of the initiative are to create and promote additional safe spaces downtown and creating a community-wide online safe reporting system.

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