Criminal legal system is focused on the offender, doesn’t deliver what the survivor needs to move forward, says advocate for sexual assault victims

Vancouver councillor Dalya Israel
Vancouver councillor Dalya Israel - Photo supplied
Laurence Gatinel - CFRO - VancouverBC | 04-09-2020
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By Tan Mei Xi

Less than 1% of sexual assault reports lead to a conviction and regardless of the ruling, survivors feel cast aside by the system, executive director of WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre Dalya Israel told The PULSE on CFRO. That's why WAVAW is introducing a new Transformative Justice program to give survivors an alternative to seek justice, other than going through the legal system.

“The criminal legal system is offender-focused,” said Israel, rather than on the healing of the survivor. She notes that research conducted by the Center shows that survivors want perpetrators to understand the harm caused, among other needs, but punishment of the perpetrator is not often the priority for survivors.

The pilot program will commence on October 2020 and will have a duration of three years. According to a press release, the $300,000 funding of the program was provided by the Vancouver Foundation.