Local sexual assault coordination initiatives have increased safety for survivors, ensuring gaps and problems are addressed using a cross-sector team approach.

Coordination work seeks to identify and connect the network of supports and professionals involved in responding to sexual assault, with the goal of improving overall response. Collaboration strengthens the response of individual agencies and unites them into a coordinated team approach. No one agency can successfully handle all aspects of a sexual assault. Each agency is important and has its strengths and limitations. Effective multi-disciplinary teams generate a stronger response and produce more effective outcomes for the survivor and the criminal justice system (Lonsway, Archambault & Littel, 2021).

Informal networking amongst supports for survivors that work collaboratively on a case-by-case basis to provide adequate support is also a form of coordination.

Those involved in coordination committees vary between communities, but key players tend to be:

  • Community-based victim services workers.
  • Outreach workers.
  • STV counsellors and other trauma counsellors.
  • Health care providers including physicians.
  • Emergency department personnel.
  • Sexual assault nurse examiners/forensic nurses.

 

Various terms and definitions are used to describe coordination related to gender based violence. Examples of coordination committees that may address sexual violence include:

  • Sexual Assault Response Teams.
  • Sexual Assault Coordination Committees.
  • Sexual Assault Resource Teams.
  • Violence Against Women in Relationships/Violence in Relationship Committees.
  • Violence Against Women Committees.
  • For more information on each type of committee please visit this resource.

 

Refer to the following resources for more information on sexual assault coordination:

The Importance of Coordination Initiatives as Foundations for Collaboration, March 2019.

Sexual Assault Coordination Initiatives: Resources, Tools and Models of Successful Coordination Initiatives