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Local agencies come together to support survivors of sexual crimes

Det. Sgt. Katherine Dann is seen on Feb. 25, 2024. Dann leads the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section of the London Police Service. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London) Det. Sgt. Katherine Dann is seen on Feb. 25, 2024. Dann leads the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section of the London Police Service. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London)
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The London Police Service (LPS) hosted a first-of-its-kind event to support survivors of sexual and sexually violent crimes.

But it was not just police officers taking part.

Leaders and volunteers with related agencies partnered with police to create ‘Hope Together: Supporting Survivors.’

The event ran until 6 p.m. Sunday at the Factory inside the Industrial Room. 

It featured speakers from the police, the London Abused Women’s Centre and ANOVA.

Information tables outlining 10 related agencies are also set up.

“It’s so the survivors have the knowledge to know where to turn,” explained Det.-Sgt. Katherine Dann, who leads the LPS Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section.

But Dann said it is not just survivors who could benefit from the event, as family members who support victims of sexual crime could also find resources.

“People, when they are in crisis, often reach out to family and friends. So, if one person has the knowledge, and they can help that person, then I think that is one of our goals.”

This past week, Human Trafficking Awareness Day was recognized nationwide.

Two presentations that focused on its prevalence and prevention were also highlights of the speakers' agenda.

“There are a lot of people who still think that these issues don’t exist in our city,” explained Jennifer Dunn, executive director of The London Abused Women’s Centre. “So, it’s really important to talk about it and let women know there are organizations available for support.”

Dann echoed her comments as she pointed to rising cases of sexual violence.

“Child exploitation is increasing. Human trafficking happens all the time in London since we’re on the 401. And, intimate partner violence is one of the largest things that we respond to,” she said.

But through new collaborative face-to-face public initiatives, including the Hope Together event, both leaders believe the disheartening trend may ease. 

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