Violence Against Women

As the #MeToo movement gathered strength in 2018, the OPS saw an increase in the number of reports to the Service relating to sexual assault. It was an opportunity for those trained as Sexual Assault Response Officers (SARO) to employ those standardized skills when responding to a victim or survivor of sexual assault. In 2018, several more frontline officers and some external partners (including OC Transpo and the City of Ottawa), were trained in this program, which seeks to provide greater awareness and a more sensitive victim-centred response to these types of incidents.

We also continued work on our pilot project -- Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Advocate review tables -- which was introduced in 2017. This initiative is an Ottawa-based tailored version of the Philadelphia model which provides the OPS with feedback from our external partners on closed files, as well as suggestions for new ways to better-serve victims of sexual assault.  A Memorandum of Understanding was established with several frontline city agencies that provide direct support to those in need to share their expertise in relation to survivors and victims of violence. The table committee meets twice a year to review files and will help in the longterm development of this program for the OPS.

Additionally, we continued to support our external partners while they underwent changes in 2018. We participated in the annual White Ribbon campaign, which seeks to promote education surrounding domestic violence, as well as Shine the Light and the Moose Hide campaigns.

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