supported reporting protocol
MAY 6, 2021 ANNOUNCEMENT:
I am proud and excited to announce that the Saffron Centre has entered into a new collaborative protocol with the Strathcona County RCMP. The Supported Reporting Protocol changes the scope of reporting sexual violence and gives survivors more decision-making power, creating a trauma-informed process.
Through this protocol we set out to achieve three goals:
1. To increase public accessibility to police by offering more reporting options to survivors of sexual violence in Strathcona County.
2. To establish a Supported Reporting Protocol (SRP) including the option to use the Saffron Centre as a satellite reporting site and victim advocate accompaniment into the police interview and monitoring rooms.
3. To increase overall connectivity between the Saffron Centre Justice Department and
Strathcona County RCMP, allowing for more efficient collaboration on sexual assault/abuse/exploitation files.
The SRP significantly expands reporting options for survivors of sexual violence by putting the power to decide how they want to report into their hands. This includes the option to provide a statement to RCMP on-site at Saffron rather than the detachment and choosing whether they would like an advocate from Saffron present in the interview room when they report.
The SRP is applicable to anyone reporting in the jurisdiction of Strathcona County and applies to non-urgent complaints. Currently, 911 calls and hospital calls are classified as urgent and will not be attended by Saffron advocates, though this is subject to change as the program develops.
I am grateful to be announcing this protocol as a kickoff to Sexual Violence Awareness Month and carry the hope that it will offer support and assistance to anyone wishing to come forward. I would like to express appreciation on behalf of Saffron to the Strathcona County RCMP, specifically to the Persons Crimes Unit, S/Sgt. Andrew Kyle, and Superintendent Dave Kalist.
For anyone wishing to learn more about the reporting process, court support services, and other programs that Saffron offers, please call our centre at (780) 449-0900, or visit our website at www.saffroncentre.com.
Kiara Warkentin, B.A.
Director of Justice, Research and Outreach
questions about the protocol
What is the Supported Reporting Protocol?
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 sexualized crimes, including sexual assault, abuse, exploitation, and harassment. There are two main parts of this protocol that change the structure of reporting options moving forward: the first is the choice of where you would like to report. Clients can opt to file a police report at the Saffron Centre in an office we have designated and outfitted for RCMP to use, or they can choose to complete their statement at the 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 survivors.
How do I access the services outlined in this protocol?
There are two ways to access these services. Survivors can approach the RCMP and request interview support when reporting sexual violence. RCMP will make contact with the Saffron Centre and, if an Advocate is available they will come meet with the client and offer immediate support. Please note that Saffron is not a crisis centre, so we are unable to provide accompaniment on field calls (911 calls) or hospital visits at this time. We are only able to support during our business hours at this time.
The other way to access these services is to make contact with Saffron and ask to speak to an advocate in the Police and Court Support Section. We have two staff and four volunteers in this section who are able to provide information and support to anyone considering reporting. As advocates, we are able to make contact with the RCMP on your behalf and arrange for your police statement to be scheduled.
Are there any circumstances where these options would not apply to me?
There are some limitations on the scope of this protocol. Barring exceptional circumstances, crimes are reported in the jurisdictions where they occurred, rather than where the complainant lives. This means that if you live in Sherwood Park but experienced sexual violence in Fort Saskatchewan, the statement will be done at the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP detachment. Even though we do not currently have an SRP in place with this detachment, Advocates are still able to organize reporting for you and accompany you to the detachment for support.
Other ineligible circumstances include what we have classified as "urgent complaints" which include 911 phone calls requiring immediate support and incidents requiring hospital visits. The Victim Services Unit is currently available for these circumstances and warm referrals to Saffron can be made after the initial report is complete.
What if I want to file a traditional report by myself?
There is no requirement to accept community or police-based victim service supports. Anyone can file a report on their own if that is their wish. As part of the SRP, RCMP may offer Saffron supports to you, but you may turn this down.
If you have any other questions or wish to learn more, please call us or email our Justice Team. Contact information is listed below.