Cst. Ashely Fast, RCMP Speical Victims Unit, with Cirque, PADS Accredited Facility Dog at Oak Centre

When Cst. Ashley Fast with the RCMP Special Victims Unit comes to the Oak Centre she is in plain clothing, dressed professionally and approachable, she comes to the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre to interview children who are victims or witness’ in regards to physical or sexual abuse.  Ashley is motivated by the true innocents she sees in kids, “It’s tough sometimes but the work is rewarding because I want to protect kids who are hurt and help them have a voice.” She adds “Kids are genuinely innocent victims.” Ashley has been with the RCMP for over 9 years and the last 2 years she has served as a liaison between RCMP and Oak Centre. Ashley says the Oak Centre makes a huge difference in the child interview experience, it’s a safe place for children and youth where they can meet with the officer and advocates.  And the interview happens in a non-threatening environment by an officer in plain clothing and in a way that does not re-victimize the child. There is also a big difference for families and caregivers that accompany the children, Ashley points out that at the detachment they would have to sit alone and would not have the support of the advocates. At Oak Centre the space is available for caregivers to wait in comfort, have other children with them and an advocate is there to offer support. Ashley appreciates the Oak Centre for it’s warm and welcoming staff and atmosphere, she says there are just so many great benefits and she hopes the Oak Centre and other CYAC’s will be used by more professionals in her sector. The Oak Centre has really benefited from Ashley’s partnership with the centre, she is instrumental in providing a team approach in serving families. Oak Centre staff send out a huge thanks to her for all she does.