Third Party Reporting (TPR) is a trauma-informed option for adult survivors of sexual violence in BC to make an anonymous report through a community-based victim service agency about what has happened to them.
Since 2008, EVA BC has led the BC Third Party Reporting provincial protocol. The protocol was developed from best practices that had been developed across the province in Vancouver, Victoria and Prince George since the 1980s.
The main pillars of the TPR protocol aim to provide survivors with ongoing safety and support while providing access to anonymous reporting. The protocol is designed for workers whose mandate it is to serve victims of gender-based violence, like Community-Based Victim Services (CBVS) workers.
Nancy Regular works in EVA BC’s Community Coordination for Women’s Safety (CCWS) program and helps train workers to use the protocol. For her, the survivor-centred approach is key. “It gives the survivor a space to tell their story where they have control over what happens to that story instead of the alternative where, once things get handed to the police, survivors have very little or no control.”
As we noted in our story on Sexual Assault Awareness Month, in 2021 only 6% of sexual assault incidents in Canada were brought to the attention of police. TPR not only can help police receive information that they would not have otherwise had, but it can increase awareness about the numbers of sexual assaults that are being committed against survivors. And the police receive information about the person that commits the sexual assault that could help ensure they potentially face consequences, get help, and/or are prevented from committing additional sexual assaults against people in their communities.
An example of how TPR can work:
A survivor of a sexual assault comes to see a Community Based Victim Services (CBVS) worker.
The worker reviews all the options with the survivor including legal ones. Survivors can choose to report to police, not report to police, or complete a Third Party Report. The TPR is an anonymous way for survivors to report their sexual assault to police through a community-based victim service worker as well as get support.
If the police believe there is enough information about the sexual assault for further investigation, they may reach out to the the CBVS worker and ask them to reach out to the survivor to see if the survivor is interested in speaking to police directly and making a report. This provides the survivor choice and control over the process.
Wendy, who works in the CCWS program shares, “it is important for survivors of sexual violence to have options available to them that allow them the ability to decide what they would like to do and decide what makes the most sense for them.”
If you are with a program in BC that has a mandate to serve victims of gender-based violence, CBVS or otherwise, and do not yet offer Third Party Reporting, you can reach out to us about upcoming training opportunities at email@example.com.