OUTSaskatoon’s gender-based violence project work underway

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WATCH: Work is underway at OUTSaskatoon on a pair of recently funded gender-based violence projects – Nov 17, 2019

OUTSaskatoon members have new projects underway.

“We are going to be creating education and resources so that these folks are better able to serve the queer community and not perpetuate more gender-based violence,” said gender-based violence education co-ordinator Jessica Fisher.

The provincial government awarded a grant of $1.1 million in May to fund a pair of projects over the next five years.

The goal is to support people in the LGBTQ2 community affected by gender-based violence and to teach service providers to help in a safe and inclusive way.

READ MORE: OUTSaskatoon getting over $1.1M to support survivors of gender-based violence

Fisher says roughly half of all gay, lesbian and bisexual Canadians 15 years of age and older experience physical or sexual abuse. That number is higher for those who identify as trans or gender diverse.

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Counsellor Iris Akbar says it’s because of OUTSaskatoon’s known support for the LGBTQ2 community that people feel comfortable sharing their experiences.

“They felt safe to meet up with me as a counsellor and express or share more about their gender-based violence experiences,” added Akbar.

Akbar adds she has roughly 20 to 30 clients per month but does expect that number to rise in the future.

READ MORE: Saskatoon Sexual Health centre hits capacity, turns away potential patients

Fisher says she hopes the project will provide help across the province.

“It’s vitally important for people to connect with resources and get support and help because they are not alone,” Fisher said. “Everyone is affected by violence in one way or another.”

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