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Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, BC: Sexual Violence Resources

Writer: Vedanshi

CW: Discussion of violence, harassment, abuse


Say someone is assaulted, or experiencing harassment or abuse. We’re going to share some available options for seeking support. When someone is assaulted, their choice is taken away from them. When deciding what kind of police action or medical support to seek, the choice is in the survivor’s hands, every step of the way.


If someone’s life is in danger, call 911 and ask for the police, fire, or ambulance depending on the situation.


If someone has been sexually assaulted, it was not their fault. They may not remember what exactly happened, and that is normal.


 

MEDICAL CARE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES:


If a victim is hurt with life-threatening injuries, ask for an ambulance by calling 911. Even if they don’t have any apparent injuries, it is a good idea to go to the hospital and ask for a rape kit to be performed- this is a sexual assault examination performed to collect evidence after a rape. If they think they may be pregnant, they can also ask the medical professional for options. They can also test the survivor for any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).


Vancouver Coastal Health Sexual Assault Services



This service is offered at:

  • Vancouver General Hospital (899 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver)

  • UBC Hospital (2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver)


Both hospitals offering this service have also been pinned to our Safe Hubs map here.


About: Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton fall within the Vancouver Coastal Health jurisdiction. "Sexual assault services (SAS) provide a specially trained team of female nurses, nurse examiners, doctors and counsellors that provide care 24 hours a day. Our services include assessment and treatment of injuries, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy prevention as well as forensic evidence collection and emotional support. We also provide referrals to health, legal, and community-based support services."


 

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT:


Survivors may feel vulnerable, angry, confused, depressed, or another way after a sexual assault. There are mental health professionals who can help with the healing process, but more immediately, survivors may find comfort in your ‘Safe Buddies’. These can be trusted friends or family members.


BC 211

Website: bc.211.ca

About: A database of resources, which can be filtered based on region and service type. 


PearlSpace

Crisis line: 1-877-890-5711

Squamish Office: (604) 892-5748

Whistler Office: (604) 962-8711

About: “PearlSpace is dedicated to preventing violence against women, Two Spirit, gender-diverse, non-binary, trans people, and children/youth by providing inclusive, supportive services to individuals and communities within the Sea to Sky corridor and Stl’atl’imx regions. PearlSpace Society cultivates hope from an intersectional feminist framework, offering inclusive programs to support people experiencing gender-based violence, including intimate Partner Violence (IPV), Sexual Assault(SA), harassment, oppression, as well as provide prevention education and advocacy.”


Our team sat down with the PearlSpace team to learn more about the ways in which they support survivors. Here’s an interview where Heidi, Susie, and Claire discuss their work:



Wondering what a sit-down session with a PearlSpace Support Worker looks like? Here’s a step-by-step re-enactment (keep in mind every story and session is different): 



PearlSpace also generously gave us a look into their cozy, inviting, safe space at their Drop-In Centre in Squamish, BC. “The Squamish and Whistler Drop-In Centres are a single access point for crisis support, resources, and referrals for women, Two-Spirit, gender diverse, non-binary, trans people and their children.” Here’s a walk-through tour:



These are some of the services they provide through their Drop-In Centre (quoted directly from their website):

  • Support, safety planning, and referrals

  • Children and youth counselling, Children and Youth Groups and Wellness Camps

  • Ongoing support for program participants who have accessed Pearl’s Place Transition House, Safe Home or Children, Youth & Family programs

  • Practical assistance with forms and online applications

  • Internet, fax, and photocopier access

  • Resource material

  • A supportive and inclusive space for women, Two-Spirit, gender diverse, non-binary, trans people and their children to meet with RCMP, Victim Services or Mental Health with support from Drop-In staff through that process

  • Toiletries and clothing vouchers to Pearls Value & Vintage


Sea to Sky Community Services: Stopping the Violence Counselling Program

Pemberton Office Phone: (604) 894-6101

Pemberton Office Email: pemberton@sscs.ca

About: "The Women’s Counselling Program provides Stopping the Violence support at Sea to Sky Community Services. It offers trauma-informed, non-clinical counseling to women who have experienced sexual assault, abuse, violence in a relationship, or childhood abuse or violence. In addition, Whistler, Pemberton, and the Southern Stl’atl’imx communities have a Stopping the Violence Outreach Worker. The worker provides support, advocacy, accompaniment, and local transportation to medical, legal, and social services, to women who have experienced violence or abuse."


 

CRISIS LINES


Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre

Website: salalsvsc.ca

National Toll-Free 24-Hour Crisis & Information Line: 1-877-392-7583

Salal Connect text: (604)-245-2425

About: Immediate emotional support is available Canada-wide.


VictimLinkBC: 

Phone: 1-800-563-0808 (toll-free)

About: “VictimLinkBC provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence. Available 24 hours a day.”


Crisis Services Canada

Call: +1 (833) 456-4566

About: If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, the Canada Suicide Prevention Service is available 24/7.


Kids Help Phone

Call: +1 (800) 668-6868

About: 24/7, national support service offering professional counselling, information and referrals and text-based support to young people in both English and French.


 

SAFE SPACES


SQUAMISH | Pearl’s Place Transition House

PEMBERTON | Pearl’s Safe Home

Website: pearlspace.ca

Call their 24-Hour Crisis Line at 1-877-890-5711 to access emergency shelters

About: These emergency shelters provide short term, safe and secure housing and confidential support for women, Two-Spirit, gender-diverse, non-binary, trans people with or without children who are leaving an abusive relationship. Food and basic necessities are provided.


Safe Hubs by BOLT Safety Society

A network of safe spaces in partnership with local businesses. Find a safe space near you: boltsafety.org/safehubs


 

POLICE VICTIM SERVICES

Survivors have the choice to decide whether they want a police report filed and press charges against their assaulter(s).


SQUAMISH | RCMP Victim Services

Phone: (604) 892-6153

Address: 1000 Finch Dr., Squamish, BC  V8B 0M5


WHISTLER | RCMP Victim Services

Phone: (604) 905-1969

Address: 4315 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC  V0N 1B4



About: “Victim services are available to anyone who has been a victim of crime in British Columbia. It is not necessary for you to report the crime to police to access these services.”


COPYWRITING SERVICES FOR SURVIVORS


itsharpo collaborations offers copywriting services for survivors hoping to craft various forms of writing material. Their service can support survivors with their victim impact statements or writing out their appeals. To learn more and get in touch, visit their website at www.itsharpo.com


 

If someone is in an abusive relationship, there is help available. First of all, if anyone’s life is in immediate danger, call 911.


There are many forms of abuse. Specifically, domestic abuse, or intimate partner violence, is a form of abuse used by the abuser to maintain power in a relationship through verbal, emotional, mental, sexual, reproductive, financial, or physical abuse and coercion.


The survivor can find a ‘Safe Buddy’ to help them, and check-in on them regularly- be it, friends or family. This person can help alert authorities if they don’t respond to a check-in text, call, or email within a reasonable amount of time. They can also come up with a code word if there are concerns of their abuser reading their messages.


If the survivor is looking for support services online, and is concerned their abuser will see them, they can use ‘incognito’ web browser features, which ensure that searches and web activity cannot be tracked on that device.


Survivors can also reach out to local women’s shelters. 


 

If you’re worried about the safety of a loved one, how can you help?


If their life is in danger, call 911.


Otherwise, you can share resources and information, like this article. Be kind, understanding, and above all else, non-judgemental. Victims are often unaware they’re in an abusive relationship, or they depend on their abuser for things like a home, an allowance, or they are being gaslighted. Gaslighting is when the abuser denies ever being abusive when confronted about their actions and behaviour, and is a form of mental and emotional abuse. 


For the person you are trying to help, even though they may not immediately leave their relationship, you showing belief in their experience validates it, and may give them the strength and assurance needed to leave.


As an ally, you can also offer to go with them to the police, the hospital, to court, or be with them when they call a crisis line or shelter. When victims are isolated from their support networks, it, unfortunately, gives their abuser more power over them.


Believe them. Stand with them, no matter what they decide. Be an ally.


 

Know a resource that should be listed on our database?

Send us an email at info@boltsafety.org 


Catch the behind-the-scenes of our team building this resource:


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