May 18, 2017 10:38 am

Nova Scotia Election: Advocates urge candidates to address sexualized violence

FILE: Avalon Sexual Assault Centre provides various support services to victims of sexual assault.

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The Halifax-based Avalon Sexual Assault Centre is calling on all candidates in the Nova Scotia election to address sexualized violence in the province.

According to Avalon, sexual assault levels in Nova Scotia are “significantly” higher than the national average.

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They say that the recent spate of high-profile cases has increased the demand for the services they offer. As a result, there is a minimum six-month wait list for new clients seeking counselling support at Avalon.

“Sexualized violence impacts everyone in our province: not only victims but their friends, families, co-workers and communities, too,” said Jackie Stevens, executive director of Avalon, in a press release on Thursday. “We can and must make this an election issue, but we all need to raise our voices.”

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Avalon is encouraging Nova Scotians to ask questions of their local candidates. They’ve prepared a few examples on their website.

“We want to make sure that whoever is elected is committed to ensuring that victims of sexualized violence have the support and help they need province-wide,” said Stevens.

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