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N.L. government commits to establishing sexual assault nurse examiner in Labrador

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — An advocate in Labrador says the provincial government’s recent commitment to bring sexual assault nurse examiners to the region is a good move.

Deirdre Connolly, who works at the Labrador office of the Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre, says she knows there are nurses in the region who are ready to be trained.

Connolly said in an interview today that sexual assault nurse examiners are the best next step in ensuring victims in Labrador get proper care.

A spokesperson for Newfoundland and Labrador’s Office of Women and Gender Equality confirmed Sunday that $225,000 has been earmarked for the expansion of the program to Labrador and central Newfoundland.

The commitment comes after The Canadian Press reported the rate of sexual assault in Labrador was more than four times the national average in 2019, and in 2020 the region accounted for a quarter of the province’s police-reported sexual assaults.

Sexual assault nurse examiners are trained to work with victims and guide them through the process of reporting to police.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press