The Violence Against Women Advocate Case Review (first operationalized in Philadelphia in 2001 and colloquially known as the “Philly Model”) was developed by the Improving Institutional Accountability Project (IIAP) and seeks to increase equitable access to the justice system for survivors of sexualized violence through objectively measurable improvement in policing violence against women.

VACR is an external file review process which seeks to address case attrition and provide oversight in sexual assault cases through the knowledge of subject matter experts sourced directly from the community.

Saskatoon’s project launched in April 2022 as a partnership between the Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre and the Saskatoon Police Service. Staff from SSAIC make up the review team and are tasked with reviewing all sexual assault cases that have been closed in the previous quarter without charges and provide feedback on trauma-informed care and survivor perspectives. VACR adds a best practice link to the policing investigative chain:

Report → Investigation → Clearance → REVIEW

VACR promotes collaboration, knowledge sharing, learning, and systemic change through this added link by catching any police-reported sexual assault cases that may slip through the cracks or improving legal systems to be the most trauma-informed they can be.

VACR has been endorsed by a number of notable bodies, including the Canadian Association Chiefs of Police and the Saskatchewan Association Chiefs of Police, and has been included as a best practice in their Canadian Framework for Collaborative Police Response on Sexual Violence for all municipal police services to adopt and implement.

SSAIC would like to thank the Saskatoon Police Service for their incredible partnership and trust in us; everything we all do is to protect and serve survivors in our community.