The Victim Advocate Case Review Program will be expanding to Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, and their neighbouring regions due to additional funding.

VACRs allow community experts to work with police agencies on closed sexual assault files and help determine challenges and identify opportunities to improve investigation outcomes for cases that were deemed unfounded.

The Saskatchewan Government has dedicated $92,000 in VACR Partnerships in 2022–2023, which is an increase of nearly $25,000 over the previous year to expand the program to cover Moose Jaw and Prince Albert.

“Once again, our province is leading the way for Canada by providing funding and support to community agencies that will partner with police to review closed cases in order to improve investigations of sexual assaults in our communities and increase accountability for offenders,” Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said.

The VACR program in Prince Albert will work through a partnership between the Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit and the Prince Albert Police Service. These partnerships will help to increase transparency and improve police investigation reports of sexual assaults, which in turn increases the likelihood that offenders will be held accountable for their crimes.

The VACR program in Moose Jaw will work through a partnership between the Regina and Area Sexual Assault Centre, the Moose Jaw Transition House, and the Moose Jaw Police Service.

Saskatchewan is the first province in Canada to provide funding for sexual assault advocates to participate in VACR partnerships. Regina and Area Sexual Assault Centre Executive Director Lisa Miller said that sexual violence is a complicated issue that differs greatly from other crimes. “Sexual violence is a complex issue that is unlike other crimes. Our work with the Regina Police Service over the past four years has shown that reviews and feedback have a positive impact on how interviews and investigations are conducted. We hope this work translates into increased charges and convictions and, most importantly, ensuring victims feel respected and heard,” said Miller.

The initial VACR pilot project began in Regina in 2021 and was later adopted by Saskatoon the following year.