Avalon Sexual Assault Centre launches crowd-funding campaign

$10,000 needed by end of May to handle increased demand of services.

click to enlarge Avalon's logo. The sexual assault centre is open Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30 to 4:30pm at 1526 Dresden Row, Suite 401.
Avalon's logo. The sexual assault centre is open Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30 to 4:30pm at 1526 Dresden Row, Suite 401.

The Avalon Sexual Assault Centre is launching a crowd-funding campaign in order to raise money for prevention and critical intervention services for Nova Scotians.

This one-month campaign is in response to both an increase in demands for services and an increase in people wanting to help out at the centre.

“We continue to see an increase in the number of clients coming forward to access our programs and services, as well as requests for education, training and collaboration to address barriers and gaps,” executive director Jackie Stevens writes in a press release. “Responding to this increased demand has been a challenge, especially with our lack of long-term, sustainable funding. We want to do more to help survivors and the community.”

The centre hopes to raise $10,000 dollars by the end of May.

Avalon says it received an influx of demands for services in the wake of the Jian Ghomeshi verdict in March, and following the three-year anniversary of Rehtaeh Parsons’ death.

“At Avalon, we believe survivors and encourage them to seek help. Now, we need help. Donations will directly help those in crisis and limit serious, long-term trauma effects for people who have been victimized,” writes Stevens.

The centre’s call for donations comes on the same day Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative party is introducing two new bills aimed at strengthening the province’s legislation on sexual assault.

The provincial Liberal government is currently rolling out $1.2 million in “Prevention Innovation Grants” to combat sexual violence across the province over the next two years—most recently on Monday announcing $4,000 to be given to Millwood High School for a bystander training course. 

The province was also supposed to fund $700,000 for more sexual assault nurse examiners last year, but the money was never spent. The same funding is included in this year’s budget, though there doesn’t appear to be a timeline for when new nurses will be hired.

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