Pace Community Support in Grande Prairie is gearing up to help launch Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence.

The widget, which will be available through the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services website as of May 6th, will be a vital point of contact for those who need help.

The service will offer talk, text and chat features, to make that initial point of contact easier for anyone who may be in a dangerous situation.

PACE Fund Development Coordinator Buffy MacIntosh says this tool will be invaluable to those in the greater Grande Prairie area.

“We’re the only sexual assault centre in the northwest region, and so there are people in smaller communities and more remote communities who don’t necessarily have direct access to a support centre.”

Macintosh says the increase of reports since the MeToo movement began a few years ago is staggering, but it’s something she calls a silver lining.

“The more we have these conversations the more we decrease the stigma around sexual assault and sexual abuse. People are starting to feel more comfortable in coming forward, speaking about their experiences and trying to find support.”

The launch of the service coincides with Sexual Violence Awareness Month, which runs for the entirety of May.