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By Joel Janow
Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA)
With funding support from Justice Canada, Saskatchewan Justice has partnered with the Public Legal Education Association (PLEA) to pilot a program to provide free legal information/advice to survivors of sexual violence.
Under the program survivors of sexual violence that took place in Saskatchewan can receive up to 2 hours of legal information and advice per incident from a lawyer on the Listen roster. Lawyers apply to be on the roster after taking one-day training that covers matters such as dealing with traumatized clients and legal responses to sexual violence in a variety of contexts. Survivors can request an additional 2 hours of free legal advice if required in their case.
For the purposes of this project, sexual violence includes any sexual contact without consent including anything from touching to intercourse; any form of sexual harassment including sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as sexual harassment through criminal harassment, threats and intimidation; and sexual exploitation involving children and youth.
The incident does not need to have been reported to the police. The program is available to individuals of any age or gender, regardless of income. It also doesn’t matter how long ago the incident occurred.
It is expected that this program will assist survivors of violence by providing information/advice to help them understand and exercise their legal options, in areas such as civil, family, labour, human rights, immigration and criminal law.
To learn more about The Listen Project or to use the online application to apply for free legal advice, visit listen.plea.org. The program can also be contacted by emailing email@example.com, calling 1-855-258-9415 (toll-free) or texting 306-500-6430.