Police and Court Support for Sexual Violence

Our team of Advocates is here to guide you through the criminal justice system, from reporting to sentencing and everything in between.

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Accompaniments to police interview and court hearings

You are not alone. Our team is here to support you.

Saffron Centre offers Specialized Police and Court Support (SPCS) for those who have experienced sexual violence. This service is completely free of charge. Our team of advocates will provide emotional support and information for clients who are considering reporting sexual violence to the Police or who are involved in the criminal justice system.  We will ensure that you understand your rights as a victim of crime, the intricacies of your case, and the requirements of the justice system. Our team can advocate on your behalf to the Police and Crown Prosecution Services and will be there providing accompaniment support so you will always have someone in your corner.

Who is SPCS for?

SPCS is for anyone who has experienced sexual violence and is interested or currently engaged in the reporting or the criminal justice system. We will walk alongside you through this journey and provide assistance and support however you need. This service is for people who are currently going through the reporting and court process for crimes of sexual violence in Alberta.

Our services are open to anyone who has experienced sexual violence, regardless of when or where the crime occurred. There is no statute of limitations in Canada regarding indictable offences, which includes crimes of sexual violence. If you are unsure about the services you would like to receive, please call us. Our team is here to help you navigate our services and find the best solution.

Contact us today if you:

  • have questions about reporting to police.
  • have already reported and would like support throughout the criminal justice process.
  • have already reported and have questions about what happens next.
  • have any questions about our SPCS program.

 

Our SPCS Services

We provide assistance and support in any or all of the following services. Whether you are seeking emotional support during the reporting stage, information to better understand how and when to report crimes of sexual violence, or assistance accessing funding for counselling and other services, we are here to help.

Saffron Centre provides information and advocacy surrounding the reporting process, including all options available to clients looking to report sexual violence. You may understand that you have a right to information surrounding reporting but don’t know where to start or how to get it. This is where our team comes in to support you. We assist in providing information on reporting to the police and professional colleges, what to expect from the reporting process, how reporting works, and what happens after a report takes place. By providing you with all the information you need for reporting, our goal is to help our clients feel a sense of security and empowerment as they move through the investigative process.

We accompany clients through the entirety of the reporting process, wherever possible. We can be in the room with you, standing outside the door, or simply be a call away – whatever support you need during this difficult time. Saffron Centre offers a safe and friendly location for remote reporting, where an officer will meet you at Saffron, or a member of our team will accompany you to a police detachment to report.

We are able to assist you with completing documentation including:

  • financial assistance applications
  • restraining orders
  • emergency protection orders
  • victim impact statements

Saffron has developed a comprehensive court preparation process to ensure your experience is as straightforward as possible. We will walk with you and provide information sessions, court tours, Crown Prosecutor meetings, and court counselling sessions. These will all be made available to you before any upcoming preliminary hearing or trial date.

A designated Saffron advocate can accompany you to all court dates related to sexual violence. This may include preliminary hearings, restraining order hearings, trials, or sentencing. We also serve as support people for our clients on the witness stand, and our Facility Support Dog, Yukon, supports clients in court.

Saffron Centre police and court advocates provide a trauma-informed experience for our clients as they navigate the criminal justice system. We recognize that our clients may carry significant fear with them through this process, and many are not familiar with the specifics of the justice system. Our team holds the space for our clients to move through in whatever way makes them feel most comfortable, recognizing that every person is different. Our role is to support you in a way that will help you feel safe and comfortable.

Yukon, Saffron’s Facility Support Dog, is available for clients who wish to have support from Yukon during reporting and witness testimony. Yukon is trained to sit or lay quietly at your side while you are providing your statement and giving testimony in court.

For clients who have recently reported and are looking to access counselling funding, Saffron Centre’s specialized police and court support team can assist with filling out the application for Victims of Crime through the Government of Alberta. Victim Assistance Program funding can be used at Saffron for counselling, or with other counselling service providers.

Police and Court Support FAQ

The SRP is a protocol that Saffron Centre signed in collaboration with the Strathcona County RCMP allowing for new reporting options to be offered to those interested in reporting sexual violence, including sexual assault, abuse, exploitation, and harassment. There are two main parts of this protocol: the first is the choice of where you would like to report. Clients can opt to file a police report at Saffron Centre’s office that we have designated for RCMP to use, or they can choose to complete their statement at the RCMP detachment. The second major change is that clients can choose whether they would like to have a Saffron Advocate present with them in the room for reporting or if they would rather speak privately with the RCMP Member. There are no right or wrong decisions as part of this protocol, only an expansion of options presented to those who have experienced sexual violence.

Police and court services are entirely separate from counselling services at Saffron. Although our clients are welcome to utilize as many of our services as they wish, clients do not have to be in police and court support to access counselling, and they do not have to be involved with the counselling program to receive police and court support.

There is no fee for services in the police and court program, including for court counselling services.

Saffron’s police and court program does not support family court matters. We also do not provide court testimony in relation to parenting.

There is no minimum age requirement to access information and support from our team over the phone. However, if you are under 18, we will require that one guardian signs consent for a minor to access support services through the police and court program. Because police and court services do not include any trauma counselling, we do not need all guardian signatures to serve our clients. For children under 14, our team requires that a guardian be present at all sessions, and we provide support through the guardians on behalf of the child in question.

For clients who have experienced domestic and sexual violence by the same individual and have upcoming court dates for both incidents, Saffron Centre will support the client through their domestic violence and sexual violence court dates. For incidents of domestic violence only, our team will refer the client to the nearest domestic violence support programs.

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Monday 9:00am 4:30pm
Tuesday 9:00am 9:00pm Wednesday 9:00am 9:00pm
Thursday 9:00am 4:30pm
Friday 9:00am – 4:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Christmas Holiday Closure

Saffron Centre will be closed beginning Saturday, December 23rd through Monday, January 1st and will reopen on January 2nd. Voicemails and emails will not be monitored during this time. For immediate support, call the Edmonton Distress line at 780-482-4357 or the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Centre 24-Hour Help line at 1-866-956-1099.

From all of us at Saffron Centre, we wish you a peaceful holiday season and many blessings in the New Year.