Education Program receives Inspiration Award

The CASASC Education Program is the recipient of a provincial award recognizing leadership in sexual violence prevention.

CASASC Education team members attended the 2022 Inspiration Awards ceremony in Calgary on June 24.

A total of ten Inspiration Awards were presented by the Ministry of Community and Social Services to individuals and groups for their leadership in ending family violence and abuse in communities across the province. Awards recognized leadership in preventing family violence, sexual violence, child abuse and bullying.

The awards were presented by Jason Luan, Minister of Community and Social Services with the Honourable Lois Mitchell acting as Master of Ceremonies.

CASASC received its’ program award for showing leadership in sexual violence prevention.

“Having to adapt to COVID realities, in October 2020 the education program underwent a complete revision of all programming, developing content to virtual teaching modalities and adapting to meet the needs of in-person teaching dynamics,” said Lois Mitchell at the ceremony. “The CASASC Education Program grew in the following months from one solidified program into five formal school offerings for Grades K-12, with full availability to schools and community starting September 2021.

“Through the expansion of programs and age-appropriate content and topics, the education program has contributed to the enhanced awareness and prevention of sexual violence and the creation of healthy relationships for all schools within central Alberta. Offering programs at no-cost and either virtual of in-person delivery models, the education program helps to reduce barriers to their programs and are quickly becoming a recognized and recommended sources for primary prevention programming.”

The CASASC Education Program is a prevention-focused program designed to prevent sexual violence in the central Alberta region. It is the home of educational programming like No Secrets K-4 and Healthy Dating Relationships 101. The team currently consists of five educators who completed 477 presentations in the 2021-2022 school year.

This is the second Inspiration Award received by CASASC. In 2018, CASASC received a group leadership award for offering innovative and comprehensive programs and services.

Now Hiring – Community Engagement Facilitator

The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) is seeking to hire a Community Engagement Facilitator. The start date for the position is ASAP. The position may be fulltime term or part-time term depending on candidate’s availability, experience, skills, and other operational requirements.

About Us:

The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) is a voluntary, non-profit organization serving the Central Alberta region under the direction of a community-based Board of Directors.

We specialize in healing sexual trauma so you can talk freely about the hard stuff with no judgement. We provide a range of support services for individuals who are affected by sexual violence including counselling, play therapy, police and court support, crisis support and education.

 

JOB SUMMARY

Reporting to the KIP Team-lead and responsible to the Executive Director, The KIP Community Outreach Facilitator works in partnership with the KIP Team-Lead to achieve the objectives of the Project, the prevention of sexual assault incidents within the Indigenous Juvenile population in Central Alberta. This involves evidence-based early intervention for issues including childhood sexual behavior concerns. The overall goal / objective of the project is to utilize a multi-systemic approach.

 

QUALIFICATION & SKILLS

– Bachelor’s in social work, Psychology or equivalent preferred. (A combination of education and relevant experience may be considered)

– At least 2 years of experience working in similar industry will be considered as an asset or a combination of education, knowledge, aptitude, and skills.

– Have a passion to work with Indigenous Community.

-Must have high cultural awareness and sensitivity.

– Must have excellent interpersonal skills and business development acumen.

– Must be empathic and have ability to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing with community partners, clients, CASASC team members and other stake holders.

– Have flexible and adaptive approach and must be willing to take challenges, learn and gain knowledge and experience.

– Be a self-starter with ability and aptitude to achieve goals and work with different community partners.

– Must have proficient computer skills (MS Office), database management programs, reporting skills.

– Excellent time management, organization, and advocacy skills.

– The position requires travel to Indigenous Communities / Reserves within Central Alberta (approx. 50% of time). The Company’s vehicle will be used for official travel purpose. Candidate must have a valid driver’s license and be able to produce clean driver’s abstract.

– Must be able to provide a clear and valid criminal record check and vulnerable sector check.

– Must be able to meet the physical demands of the job and be able to lift minimum 40lbs as and when required to fulfill the job responsibilities.

– Must be legally entitled to work in Canada.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

– Establish and enhance communication and partnership with communities and key Elders in the communities.

– Build relationships with Elders in communities within Central Alberta for guidance on cultural approaches to add value to service delivery such as smudging the room prior to therapy sessions etc.

– Reach out to Indigenous Communities and/or Reserves and build rapport with Community Elders / Band Chief.

– Provide information to Communities about the services offered by CASASC under the KIP Project and other programs and services of CASASC.

– Connect clients with CASASC’s internal programs as required.

– Educate the community and work in partnership with KIP project-lead on sexual violence prevention within Indigenous juvenile and related issues.

– Educate and empower communities to understand sexual violence prevention and early intervention and educate communities to understand their rights and responsibilities as participating member of the society.

– Helps facilitate clients’ optimized utilization of all community supports and services.

– Work in collaboration with CASASC education team on developing resources and training material for staff interacting with Indigenous youth, their family, and the school system on cultural sensitivity, Indigenous therapies, and intercultural counselling methods.

– Develops and maintains effective teamwork relationships within CASASC and with external stakeholders.

– Keeps proper database of community partners and prepare reports as required.

 

Team Responsibilities/Staff Development

– Adheres to the values and guiding principles, policies, and procedures of CASASC and supports the strategic direction of the organization.

– Participates in staff meetings and offered trainings.

– Acts as a responsible team member by demonstrating initiative, completing work duties, and by maintaining clear, direct, and respectful communication with everyone in the work environment.

– Proactively stays current with best and emerging practices in the field. Participates regularly in the staff development activities according to a learning and development plan identified through supervision and the on-going performance review process.

– Provides back-up coverage to CASASC as required in response to the needs and priorities of the organization which includes other duties as and when assigned.

 

Organizational Responsibilities:

– Maintains agency confidence and protects operations by keeping information confidential.

– Represents CASASC in a professional manner.

– Maintains on-going positive public relations with external agencies, groups, and individuals.

– Uses appropriate mechanisms for resolving internal agency problems.

– Maintain professional relationship with internal and external stakeholders.

Any other duties as and when assigned by the management

 

Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Fixed term contract

Contract length: 9 months

Salary: $20.00-$23.00 per hour

Benefits:

  • Disability insurance
  • Flexible schedule
  • Life insurance
  • On-site parking
  • Work from home

Schedule:

  • 8 hour shift

COVID-19 considerations:

Follows all COVID SoPs

 

How to Apply:

Email resume & cover letters to hr@casasc.ca. Please ensure your name and job title are included in the subject line. Attachments must be in either PDF or Word (.doc/.docx) format.

We thank all applications for their interest, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Application deadline: 2022-06-27

What we can learn from the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation case

By Sarah Maetche and Carlia Schwab

Like so many out there, we have been combing through the depths of Twitter and reading story after story on the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial. After six weeks of testimony, and with the jury currently in deliberation at the time of writing, society has seen a gut-wrenching exposure of these two working actors’ relationship.

Depp, known from the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Tim Burton films to name a few, claims a 2018 op-ed written by Heard where she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse,” defamed him – his career and his reputation.

Heard, known from films like Aquaman, Justice League and The Danish Girl, has countersued with the claim that Depp’s attorney called her abuse allegations a “hoax.”

The defamation trial taking place in Virgina has been live-streamed and watched by millions across the globe. Depp has received waves of support on TikTok and Twitter, showing the scales of social media justice seem to be tipped his way.

Depp and Heard were married in 2015 after meeting on the set of the film The Rum Diary. Their relationship has been volatile with a highly public divorce, multiple court appearances and accusations of both verbal and physical abuse, including sexual violence during their relationship. The defamation trail has become yet another vehicle baring the shell of their relationship.

After the verdict of the trial is heard, the court of public opinion will also have its’ ruling. In the aftermath of this over exposure, there is much we can learn from this case and how it translates into a review of support services for all survivors of domestic violence.

Individuals will no doubt offer their opinions of the pair’s relationship, the information brought to light during the trial and the outcome of the trial, often in strong alignment to either Heard or Depp’s experiences.

Open dialogue and conversations are needed in this space, shifting away from a Depp vs. Heard, “she said vs. he said” narrative, or victim blaming statements towards an empathetic understanding that both individuals have experiences of being harmed by violence and participating in harmful, often violent, behaviors.

We can learn a lot from this case, in particular how society attributes violence and victim-identifying characteristics disproportionately to one gender over another. Media and public opinion often portray domestic violence impacts and the realities of survivors as highly one-gendered and female supported, often to the detriment of male identified survivors who are too looking for support.

Placing fame, wealth, socio-economic status, popularity, power, privilege, gender and sexual orientation aside, both male and female identified individuals can be impacted by and be survivors of domestic violence.

When engaging in conversations, providing support to disclosures of violence, and deep diving into media stories, we encourage individuals to focus not only on what their beliefs, thoughts and attitudes are about this case, but to be open to alternative ways of understanding domestic and relationship violence. Every individual who has experience violence should be offered support and understanding. They should have access to support without the fear of judgement, retribution, victim blaming or of not being believed.

Over half of adult Albertans have supported, or knows someone, who has experienced sexual violence. Given the highly public and social nature of the Depp vs. Heard defamation case, consider the tone of conversations you have. You can offer an open, unbiased and supportive space for your friends, family and peers to connect and debrief, and seek out resources for support. Remember that anyone of any gender can be impacted by violence and deserves access to support.

Sarah Maetche is the communications and administration manager at the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre. Carlia Schwab is the education and community relations manager at the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre.

Article as published in the Red Deer Advocate.

Monthly update – CASASC Connections – June

Welcome back to CASASC Connections. This is a space where we provide updates on our services, programs and all things CASASC for the month of June.

 

24 Hour Sexual Violence Help Line

1-866-956-1099 www.casasc.ca

Available through phone, text or webchat – We provide 24/7 confidential and anonymous support and a friendly conversation with the end goal being information, support and referrals.

In May the help line received 118 contacts. The SART team responded to 4 calls.

We anticipate that our Help Line and SART programs will be busier over the summer months. With communities opening up to visitors and locals, being able to get outdoors and spend time socializing with friends, opportunities that challenge our consent knowledge will become more frequent.

A friendly reminder to be respectful of your relationships and interactions. Consent is even more important as we increase our socialization with others and place ourselves back into public settings.

Consider refreshing your consent knowledge and skills. Have a conversation with your partner and friends about your boundaries, and keeping consent front of mind. Be a good friend and keep your eyes open. Don’t let your friends make harmful choices and disregard someone else’s consent.

*URGENT need for Volunteers

email ewillmer@casasc.ca

We are in immediate need of volunteers to join our 24/7 help line, with shifts on phone call and text/web chat. Our volunteer pool has decreased over the last few months and with an expected increased in public accessing this support line over the summer months our ability to support the influx of calls is in jeopardy.

Using a shift-based schedule the 24/7 help line volunteers provide a listening ear, supportive conversation and resource referrals to children, youth and adults who are in need of support. Previous education and training is not needed. Seeking respectful, caring and supportive individuals.

 

Education – Prevention and Awareness

education@casasc.ca

Do you have summer child + youth programming? We work year-round and have openings this summer to deliver some interactive lessons at your camps and programs.

Adult learning is super beneficial to the development of healthy relationships of our children and students. Role modeling and reinforcing positive messages and behaviours can have some of the greatest impact on the respectful relationships of our students.  Consider reaching out, we’re happy to have basic, advanced, supportive and discussion-based presentations with you.

Connect today to bring us in.

 

Community Booths
Come visit us around Central Alberta this June. Our education and awareness team will be at a variety of open-to-public events.

June 16, 11:00am @ Innisfail FCSS Info Fair
June 23 @ Lacombe Farmers Market
June 30 @ Innisfail Indoor Farmers Market

 

Virtual Learning Series

The CASASC Spring/Summer e-learning series is back. For the months of June to August CASASC will be hosting various free + virtual education lessons for the community.

Services & Programs at CASASC (30 min)

A short session overviewing the programs and services available at CASASC.

For June – August dates and to register visit:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/services-programs-of-the-central-alberta-sexual-assault-support-centre-tickets-305069279427

Introduction to Sexual Violence (60 min)

A public awareness and education presentation that introduces, and highlights, definitions and concepts related to sexual violence. We will discuss dispelling myths and stereotypes, talk about victim blaming, the realities of sexual violence and a brief understanding of supporting disclosures.

For June – August dates and to register visit:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/introduction-to-sexual-violence-presentation-tickets-305057193277

Supporting Disclosures (45 min)

This session will help to enhance our skills and knowledge around supporting disclosures of sexual violence. An overview of the fundamentals of responding to and supporting disclosure of sexual assault and abuse from children, youth and adults. Learn some key messages and legal obligations when it comes to reporting child abuse.

For June – August dates and to register visit:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/supporting-disclosures-of-sexual-violence-tickets-305060773987

Consent 101 (60 min)

Join us as we overview basics about consent to sexual activity, key focus on conversations for youth and young people. This program can help you talk about consent with youth and can also help us understand the role of consent in healthy relationships. Definitions, laws + ages of consent, sexting and healthy intimate partner relationships will be some of the information covered.

For June – August dates and to register visit:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/consent-101-tickets-305082248217

Activity Sharing – Teaching Prevention Education, Grades K-7 (60 min)

Join our Education team as they share a few activities you can do with children and youth to engage them in prevention education conversations. We will explain how to use the activities, provide you with access to the digital materials, practice delivery as needed and answer any additional questions. Activities geared for class sized groups of children/youth however can be adapted to individual conversations.

  • Body Parts Bingo (Grade K-4)
  • Body “bubble” Boundary (Grade 4-6)
  • Emotion Statues (Grade 4-6)
  • Diversity Unicorn (Grade 5-7)

For June – August dates and to register visit:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/activity-sharing-teaching-prevention-education-in-grades-k-7-tickets-305087634327

 

Ask the Expert – Parenting and Sexualized Behaviour Support Virtual Session (June 29)

From June to August CASASC will be offering a free, virtual session with our sexualized behaviour and child therapy counsellor. Open to the public, parents and those who work with children and youth, this session will give you helpful tools and the space to have discussions with our counsellor about any issues or concerns. You are not alone, we are here to support.

June 29 @ 4-5 p.m.
Visit the link here session dates and times and to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/306744500057

 

Counselling

Counselling can be accessed Monday – Friday and does not require a referral or special circumstances. Individuals can call the main office to start their counselling journey anytime at 403-340-1124.

  • Sessions are offered in-person, through secure video chat or by phone
  • Waitlist is approximately two months
  • We have a session cap of 15 sessions

Adult clients: Call the main admin line. An intake appointment will be booked with our Intake Worker, then you will be set up with a counsellor.

Child/youth clients: We will need to ensure consent forms are in place (both parents or legal documentation) and the same process will happen – an intake appointment is booked, followed by appointments with one of the child counsellors.

 

Kinship Intervention Program (KIP)

KIP offers a combination of early intervention practices and a community-based approach, integrating anyone in the youth’s support network or community.

Available to any Indigenous youth (age 6 -17) who exhibits sexualized behaviour concerns or engages in “sexual acting out” or who has experienced sexual violence. The program works collaboratively with the youth’s family and elders.

KIP builds relationships throughout Central Alberta with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous service providers and communities. We can provide in-person mental health services for Indigenous youth and adults, including crisis intervention and remote counselling services.

 

Police, Community + Court Support

For more info email courtsupport@casasc.ca

The CASASC Police, Community + Court Support program is your safe place. We are dedicated to being that place where you work through your options, navigate the system, and process a traumatic experience. Our support workers are here to listen and support you while you are considering or navigating the criminal justice system. We are advocates and sources of information for you – that safe guiding presence throughout the process.

The Community + Court Support Program is available to anyone (age 16+) who has experienced sexual violence. You’d don’t need to be an existing CASASC client.

No matter where you are in your healing journey, or whether you choose to report, the Police, Community + Court Support Program is here to provide:

  • Support, information, and advocacy. No legal services or advice is provided
  • Can discuss options for legal advice and provide resources and referrals
  • Information about reporting, the court process and court preparation
  • Accompaniment to report and/or court proceedings
  • Assistance with filling out forms and applications

*Ask us about the SUPPORTIVE REPORTING option

 

Only Yes Means Yes consent campaign

Have you seen our “Only Yes Means Yes” posters around your community?

YES!  – consider taking a picture and sharing it with us so we can show are appreciation and support!

NO! – If you know a great place for the posters lets us know and we’ll make a connection and start the conversation.

When it comes to consent, Only Yes Means Yes!

Read more about the poster campaign here: https://casasc.ca/only-yes-means-yes-when-it-comes-to-consent/

 

Let’s connect

Follow us on our social pages to stay updated with what we are up to

  • Twitter @CASASC2
  • Facebook @CASASCRD
  • Instagram @CASASC3

RDCF supports CASASC Help Line

The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) recently received funding from the Red Deer & District Community Foundation (RDCF).

CASASC Executive Director Patricia Arango (middle right) and CASASC Crisis Support and SART Manager Erin Willmer (middle left) accepted the $10,000 spring grant funding from RDCF Executive Director Erin Peden (right) and RDCF Community Engagement Coordinator Danielle Stewart on May 31.

The grant awarded to CASASC supports the ongoing operation of the 24 Hour Sexual Violence Phone, Text and Webchat Help Line.

The help line is a community-driven support line available to anyone within the community, anytime of the day, who is affected by sexual violence. Anonymous, confidential support, information and referrals are provided through this volunteer-driven help line.

Whether you’ve recently experienced sexual violence, you are a friend of someone who has in the past, or you are a support person who has a question, trained volunteers are there to listen and support. They are here to connect with you where you are and empower you to your next steps towards healing. This line is available to anyone in need across Alberta 24 hours a day.

The help line provides around the clock support in real-time, assisting with immediate issues of stress, distress or triggers. Throughout the pandemic the help line saw a substantial increase – in December 2021 the help line saw a 45 per cent increase in demand for service compared to December 2020. Over the past year, the line responded to 1,654 unique calls for help.

The funds from the RDCF were generously given from the Spring grant cycle. RDCF we received a total of 31 applications, which is nearly double the amount of applications they typically receive. The total requested in grant applications was spread across various areas of focus for a total of $444,780 given out to the community.