The Ministry of Status of Women has awarded $700,000 to the Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton to design a program to provide free legal advice to victims of sexual violence.

The program is set to be operating in November, 2018 and is open to all genders.

It is specifically for those who have experienced sexual violence in Alberta.

The program also takes into account those victims who have had many years pass without reporting an incident. Time frame will not be a factor in the program.KristiKristi Donison of Big Country Anti Violence Association

"Anything that we are doing, anything that the province is doing or anything people can do to assit victims or people involved can't be a bad thing," said Big Country Anti Violence Association President Kristi Donison. "It's great that we are providing more information in helping more people get what they need to gather more knowledge, or better themselves, or get the help they need. I am looking forward to what the future has and what changes are going to come around."

Donison said that any information being provided is going to be a great help on a subject that is usually very reserved.

"I think we as professionals at the Big Country Anti Violence Association, we don't always know right away either. So, I think that all around this is going to be great for all of us. For professionals, people affected and families of those affected," continued Donison.

The program will be available in the bigger centers in Alberta,such as Red Deer, but is open to anyone passing through.

According to Government of Alberta research, many sexual violence incidents go unreported due to fear of being dismissed or re-traumatized.

Donison adds that keeping the conversation open to the public will help others come forward.

"If people aren't talking about it, it is very difficult." said Donison.

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