Patricia Arango, executive director of the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, says the Third Option Program ensures victims or patients are not alone. (File photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

People who are sexually assaulted in central Alberta will have more time to report crime

Central Albertans who have been sexually assaulted will have more time to heal and delay any decisions about reporting the crime.

Alberta Health Services has expanded its Third Option Program to the central and Edmonton zones.

Through the program, offered by AHS and the RCMP, forensic evidence is collected within seven days of the assault and then stored confidentially for one year, giving people who have been assaulted time to decide if they will report the crime to police.

Previously, individuals who were sexually assaulted had two options: have the evidence collected and call the police in the moment, or not have the collection done.

“Third Option allows our patients time to focus on healing first, while preserving important forensic evidence, should they decide in the future that reporting the assault to police is right for them,” says Chrystal Ference, AHS public health director in the Edmonton zone.

The Third Option Program has been expanded this year to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

A person who has been sexually assaulted can decide whether to report the crime during the one-year period. If the decision is made to report, police can assist with evidence intact.

“The goal of Third Option is to ensure victims/patients are not alone,” says Patricia Arango, executive director of the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre.

“They have the best possible medical treatment and supports throughout the process and, through time, gain a sense of control.”

“For these individuals, trying to decide to report immediately after an assault has occurred often only enhances that distress. With Third Option reporting, they are able to take the time they may need and decide if reporting is the right choice for them.

“It can be very empowering for survivors to have that choice again.”



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Budget day: Alberta government planning to balance books, boost employment

EDMONTON — It’s budget day in Alberta. And while the United Conservative… Continue reading

Nearly two years after opening, Calgary’s New Horizon Mall is 50 per cent leased

CALGARY — The New Horizon Mall just north of Calgary says it… Continue reading

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Most of Calgary’s city councillors had lunch at a restaurant in Chinatown… Continue reading

Kenney pledges $100M toward Red Deer hospital improvements

Premier Jason Kenney has committed $100 million toward improvements at Red Deer… Continue reading

RDC athlete apologizes for racist slur

A Red Deer College athlete has apologized for using a racial slur… Continue reading

VIDEO: Grumpy sea lion resists help back to water in Washington state

Crews were able to coax her into a crate to carry her back to water

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

David Marsden: Finally, a healthy prognosis for our hospital

The announcement of $100 million toward improvements to Red Deer Regional Hospital… Continue reading

Police intervention in Kahnawake would be act of provocation, First Nation says

Protesters reinforced a rail blockade on the Kahnawake Mohawk territory south of… Continue reading

Alberta must juggle sluggish economy, big deficits, lost jobs in upcoming budget

EDMONTON — Alberta is to bring in its new budget Thursday while… Continue reading

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

OTTAWA — Health Minister Patty Hajdu is encouraging Canadians to stockpile food… Continue reading

New Brunswick maintains position on abortions and Canada Health Act

FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government is standing firm in its position… Continue reading

Bolder actions, words from protesters behind Quebec and Ontario rail blockades

Protesters behind rail blockades in Quebec and Ontario ramped up their actions… Continue reading

Most Read