Body Boundaries: No Secrets Mini-edu Session

Today I am going to be talking about body boundaries; what it means and how to help yourself and others learn about yours and their body “bubble.”

  • body boundary is an invisible and personal set of rules that define what is a ‘good’ touch and a ‘bad’ touch and the types and amount of touching the child is comfortable with. These boundaries are important because they help with defining the ‘self’.

We all have a body bubble and most of the time we are not aware how big out bubble is. Some people’s body bubble is big and if you’re across the room from them, we still may be in their space. Some people have smaller bubbles where you can come close to them and they are not bothered.

Your bubble changes with every situation that you are in. For example, when you are sitting in your desk at school, your bubble has to be a bit smaller to accommodate the class size and other desks. But when you are standing up and going to the library, your bubble will get a bit bigger. If someone in the hall runs up to you and gives you a hug without asking, they popped your bubble and you may have felt very uncomfortable that that person has broken your personal bubble. Sometimes we don’t even realize we have moved into someone’s space.

The great thing about this is if someone is looking uncomfortable around you, or you’re in their space but they haven’t said anything, their body may be telling you to leave their space. There are a few signals you can look for. They may be red in the face, make no eye contact, their body is moving away from you, they are quiet or nervous, maybe an awkward laugh comes out.

As humans, we have to take queues from people’s body language as well as their words. There are people out there that cannot communicate verbally, and they have to rely on their body language to get by. So, as teachers and parents, we have to teach students how to read body language

I want everyone to know, you have the right to your body and nobody else. You have the right to say no to someone coming into your personal space. You are allowed to explain that you have a body bubble. “My Body is My body and Nobody else’s”

This bring me back to our safe and unsafe touches. No one is allowed to touch you. Remember your body is your body.

Here at CASASC, we will always believe you. Call, text or webchat with us on our help line and we can help you.

Help line:
1-866-956-1099

Next week we will be talking body parts.

Safety Network: No Secrets Mini-edu Session

Today I am going to be talking to you about what a safety network is and how we can have one in our circle. Everyone needs a safety network in their life. It may not make be obvious until we are in need of it and those people. Adults have them and kids of all ages need to have one too. Today I am going to teach you about how to build a safety network.

A safety network is a group of people that you can trust and go to, whatever the situation is. They will not judge you and they will get the help that you need right away.

I am going to give you three categories of safety networks. I say three because three is a good number to remember but if you have more, you can add them as you go.

What I like to do in my classroom is to have everyone close their eyes and put their heads down. First, I want everyone to take a big belly breath in and out and get relaxed. If there is nothing you take away from this, I would tell you this is what I want you to take away:

First, I want you to think of someone who is safe and trusted in your FAMILY.

This does not always mean mom and dad because sometimes mom and dad are not always our trusted person. Maybe it’s an older cousin, grandma or grandpa, an auntie or uncle or an older sibling. This person is someone who you can go to for anything.

Second, I want you to think of someone who is safe and trusted at SCHOOL. An adult at school that you can go to and they will believe you if you told them something uncomfortable. If you don’t have a trusted adult at school maybe, it’s your best friend BUT this friend has to be able to be brave and go and tell an adult for you. I say an adult because they can get you the proper help that you need.

Lastly, I want you to think of someone who is safe and trusted in your COMMUNITY. Remember this person needs to be trusted to you and to others. Think of community helpers like the police, fire, ambulance, coaches or doctors.

With a safety network, it’s important to remember that sometimes the person we choose for one, may not always believe us. For example, if you choose your grandpa and he did not believe you, do you stop telling? No, you go to the next person and if that person does not believe you, you keep going in your network until someone believes you. Sometimes you have to tell your story more than once for someone to believe you. I promise you that where I work, we will always believe you if you tell us someone is hurting you or someone around you.

Please make sure in your safety network that the people that you have are trusted and will help in any way they can. You can have more than one person in each category to make sure if you need to go back to that categories you have someone else to tell.

Here at CASASC, we will always believe you. Call, text or webchat with us on our help line and we can help you.

Help line:
1-866-956-1099

Next week we will be talking about body boundaries.

Safe and Unsafe Touches: No Secrets Mini-edu Session

This is a weekly educational series we are launching for parents, educators + caregivers to help keep our kids safe. The following info is provided from Bailey of our No Secrets education team. While this would be typically be presented in the classroom, we have adapted it for social media purposes:

Safe and Unsafe Touches

Today we are going talk about safe and unsafe touches.
You’re the boss of your body and you can decide who and when someone can or cannot touch you. Your body is your body and no body’s else.

There are three types of touches that I am going to be talking about today:
-Safe touch
-Ouch touch
-Private touch

Safe Touch: A safe touch is a touch that is wanted and fun. We like to give and receive these types of touches. Even with these types of touches, we still need to ask first.

Examples of safe touches:
o High five
o Fist pump
o Hug
o Handshake

Ouch Touch: An ouch touch is a touch that is unwanted and hurts. Unfortunately everyone has received an ouch touch at some point in their life. Think before you act.

Examples of Ouch touches:
o Slapping
o Pushing
o Biting
o Hair pulling

Private Touch: A private touch are touches to your private parts (Bathing suit area). This touch is unwanted and is bad. No one should be touching your private parts.

Examples of private touch:
o Breast
o Vagina
o Penis

The only person that is allowed to look and or touch to keep you healthy is your doctor. Your doctor has to ask first to look and to touch. If you are younger than 16 sometimes you have to have an older adult in the room with you. But its ok to ask for privacy.

Three-word rule:
No one should look at
No one should touch
and
No one should take a picture of your private parts.

Remember your body is your body and no one else’s. No one should come up to you and touch you unsafely without your consent. Even when someone wants a hug they still have to ask or their body language will ask for them. Please respect your body and everyone else’s body around you.

Next week we are going to talk about safe and unsafe secrets.

*Images from book Bailey uses in the classroom

NEW group – Intro to mentalization

Join us for this psycho-educational group that offers an introduction to mentalization.

This mentalization-based group is designed for individuals that come from broken attachments, are in unhealthy peer attachments and have a history of trauma, sexual abuse and a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Mentalization-based therapy (MBT) is a specific type of psychotherapy designed to help people with BPD. Its focus is helping people to differentiate and separate out their own thoughts and feelings from those around them.

 

What are the aims of MBT?

-MBT aims to improve a person’s ability to mentalize in close relationships.

-Having improved mentalizing ability means:

-Experiencing a more stable sense of who you feel you are

-Being less likely to let emotions get the better of you

-When emotions do get the better of you, you are able to regain your composure more quickly

This should mean that you become stronger emotionally, engage in harmful behaviours less, are less likely to get into interpersonal conflicts, and are better able to deal with any conflicts that do arise.

 

How does MBT help you improve your mentalizing?

To be good at something, you need to practice it. In the MBT program, participants can practice mentalizing skills together with the therapist and other group members.

 

How is MBT structured?

The MBT program consists of:

  1. Mentalization-based problem formulation
  2. Crisis plans
  3. Psychoeducational group therapy: 12 weekly sessions, each 1.5 hours-long
  4. Individual therapy: once a week for around 18 months
  5. Group therapy: weekly sessions of 1.5 hours for around 18 months
  6. Possible addition of art therapy
  7. Appointment(s) with psychiatrist for relevant prescriptions if needed
  8. Collaboration with other agencies on work-related support

 

What does the therapist do in MBT?

MBT therapists may provide advice directly, but they mainly try to think and reflect with you about problems to help you gradually develop your own solutions. This means taking on a curious and ‘not-knowing’ attitude about yourself and others – other patients in the group and people in your everyday life – particularly about experiences, thoughts and feelings.

 

What does the patient do in MBT?

-To make good use of treatment, patients are encouraged to:

-Talk about events from their own lives, especially recent events that have been stressful

-Try to understand more about these events, using a curious, open and ‘not-knowing’ attitude

-Allow other group members to take part in this process by exploring their own problems and other people’s problems in the same way

-Work with the therapist and the other group members in the same way, to understand events that happen within the group

-Try to develop a constructive relationship with the group members and the therapist

As part of the program, patients are encouraged not to have contact between each other outside of the therapy sessions. If they do so, they should try to talk about these contacts in the therapy sessions.

 

What else do I need to know?

The individual and group therapists meet regularly and discuss how therapy is going.

The group therapist does not usually mention in the group anything he or she has discussed with patients in individual sessions. You, the patient, get to choose what you want to talk about, and when.

However, sometimes the group therapist can address specific serious topics directly, even if the patient does not want to talk about them. For instance, these may relate to violence or threats, serious breaches of the treatment contract, or suicide attempts.

 

The group is facilitated by Michelle Moger and CASASC therapists.

Find out more info and/or to reserve your spot email casasc@casasc.ca or call 403-340-1124.

NEW parenting group

Join us for Rest, Play, Grow – a book discussion group starting on Jan. 14. at 6 p.m.

Rest, Play, Grow is grounded in the integrated, attachment-based and developmental approach to making sense of kids created by Gordon Neufeld.

Participants will read two chapters of Rest, Play, Grow by Debra Macnamara during the week and then come together to share insights, questions, and experiences. In case a participant is not able to do the reading, there will be a review of the material at the beginning of each meeting.

 

Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (Or Anyone Who Acts Like One)

Based on the work of one of the world’s foremost child development experts, Rest, Play, Grow offers a road map to making sense of young children, and is what every toddler, preschooler, and kindergartner wishes we understood about them. Baffling and beloved, with the capacity to go from joy to frustration in seconds, young children are some of the most misunderstood people on the planet.

 

Chapters (topics covered):

-How Adults Grow Young Children up

-The Preschooler Personality: Part beauty, part beast

-Preserving Play: Defending childhood in a digital world

-Hungry for Connection: Why relationship matters

-Who’s in Charge? The dance of attachment

-Feelings and Hurts: Keeping children’s hearts soft

-Tears and Tantrums: Understanding frustration and aggression

-Alarmed by Disconnection: Bedtime, separation, and anxiety

-“You’re Not the Boss of Me”: Understanding resistance and opposition

-Discipline for the Immature: Buying time for the child to grow up

-How Young Children Grow Adults Up

 

Discussions are facilitated by Michelle Moger and CASASC therapists.

Rest, Play, Grow runs for 6 weeks.

Find out more info and/or to reserve your spot email casasc@casasc.ca or call 403-340-1124.

#YourWordsMatter at Red Deer College

Your words matter. The language we use to talk about others and explain our experiences matter. Words can be seen as a form of gender-based violence (GBV).

The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) continued its’ mission to eliminate sexual violence by partnering with the Students’ Association of Red Deer College (SA) for #YourWordsMatter, an GBV awareness event.

#YourWordsMatter, the awareness and info fair and silent march through campus, occurred on Thursday, Nov. 28 at Red Deer College.

The purpose of this event was to bring awareness to the widespread issue of GBV within our society. GBV can be defined as violence that is directed at an individual based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender. It includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse, threats, coercion, and economic or educational deprivation, whether occurring in public or private life.

#YourWordsMatter was hosted on the fourth day of the SA’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which began on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ended on International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

The awareness and info fair featured interactive displays, resources and information about eliminating GBV in our community.

For the first time on the RDC campus, a silent march was held. This was meant to be a quiet and proactive, yet visual way to bring awareness to GBV throughout the RDC main campus. The silent march departed from the Forum at 11:45 a.m. with attendees wearing purple and carrying positive messaging around the prevention of GBV in our community.

Everyone was encouraged to wear purple on the day – to show support for survivors of GBV. A special edition purple #iRespect t-shirt was also released on this day.

What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence that is directed at an individual based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender. It includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse, threats, coercion, and economic or educational deprivation, whether occurring in public or private life.

In Canada, GBV disproportionately impacts women and girls, as well as other diverse populations like Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQI2+ and non-binary individuals, those living in northern, rural, and remote communities, people with disabilities, newcomers, children and youth, and seniors.

GBV is not limited to physical abuse but includes words, actions, or attempts to degrade, control, humiliate, intimidate, coerce, deprive, threaten, or harm another person.

Why is this important?

Individuals in Canada and around the world continue to face violence each and every day.

GBV can manifest in many different forms. GBV can happen in the private or public sphere, in kitchens, bedrooms and streets, stores and boardrooms or in refugee camps. It can include street harassment (like groping, cat calling, whistling, or unwanted attention in public spaces), sexual assault, sexual harassment and intimate partner violence.

The roots of GBV are all around us – in sexist jokes that demean women, in media messages that objectify women, in the rigid gender norms we impose on children.

Why #YourWordsMatter

Words matter. Your words matter. The language we use to talk about others and explain our experiences matter.

Words, the language we use, can be a form of GBV.

Intentionally using someone’s incorrect name or pronoun is an act of GBV.

Joking about that girl’s body from your class with your buddies is an act of GBV.

Making threats to harm another person is an act of GBV.

Calling someone a name, bullying, humiliating or insulting them on Instagram is an act of GBV.

Making fun of someone’s faith or religion is an act of GBV.

Making online threats to someone’s children, family, pets or friends that cause fear is an act of GBV.

Sending sexually explicit texts and photos of your genitals to someone without their consent is an act of GBV.

Your words matter. You can help take action against GBV by using your words to question, call out or speak up against GBV acts.

Your words can empower others. Your words can inspire others. Your words have power.

#YourWordsMatter

Shine a Light on Sexual Violence: Your 2019 Guide to SVAM

 

The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) is dedicated to supporting those affected by sexual violence each and every day of the year. In Alberta, May is Sexual Violence Awareness Month (SVAM). The goal of SVAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it.

The theme of SVAM this year is Shine a Light on Sexual Violence. We know that one month alone isn’t enough to solve the widespread issue of sexual violence; however, the attention we generate during the month is an opportunity to energize and expand prevention efforts throughout the year.

 

About Shine A Light

Sexual Violence Awareness Month is about more than awareness – the ultimate goal is prevention. This year’s theme centres around shining a light on the issue of sexual violence, bringing out an often taboo topic to the light of the public realm. Whether it is talking about the issue of consent, taking action, or stepping toward prevention through respect and education – sexual violence needs to be addressed.

Survivors of sexual violence often feel they are hiding in the dark, that they cannot come forward. One client expressed to us that she felt like “pulling the blankets over her head,” after her experience. A child age client supported by CASASC had this to say to other survivors: “Hold on. Someone needs to hear your story. Don’t give up. I refuse to sink. Don’t let anyone dull your shine! Stars can’t shine without darkness.”

Through the light, we can move forward and heal. Through the light we can take steps toward prevention. This is why we shine a light on sexual violence.

 

Key Messages: Sexual Violence and Prevention

Sexual violence is a serious and widespread problem. Anyone can experience sexual violence in their lifetime, however most incidents occur against women and girls.

In Canada, 87 per cent of survivors are women and girls. Ninety-four per cent of offenders are men. Sexual violence is the most underreported crime in Canada. Ninety-five per cent of survivors do not report their assaults to the police.

Statistics also show that some groups are more likely to experience sexual violence including: Indigenous women and girls, children and adolescents, people with disabilities, those of the LGBTQ community and new Canadians.

When we speak about prevention, we mean stopping sexual violence before it even has a chance to happen. This means changing the social norms that allow it to exist in the first place, from individual attitudes, values, and behaviors to laws, institutions, and widespread social norms. CASASC believes this is achieved through the concept of respect.

Prevention is all our responsibility. We can create and promote safe respectful environments through all facets of our lives. We can intervene to stop concerning behavior; promote and model healthy attitudes and relationships; promote the creation of a culture of respect; and believe survivors and assist them in finding the support they need.

 

How You Can Stay Involved All Month Long

Each week in May we’re featuring different ways you can get involved by promoting awareness and taking action. Want to get involved? We’ve got you covered. We’ve created custom SVAM graphics for you to share, tweet and tag CASASC throughout the month, along with many other resources:

 

Respect Day

Your week-to-week guide: Shine A Light

Week 1: Consent (May 1 – May 7)

Week 2: Action (May 8 – May 14)

Week 3: Respect (May 15 – May 21)

Week 4: Education (May 22 – May 28)

 

Checking your social media feeds anyway? Follow CASASC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where we will be sharing information, statistics, resources and graphics for SVAM throughout the month of May. Share our posts, tag CASASC and encourage others to do the same.

Changing the Conversation

Sexual violence was the topic last Thursday at Changing the Conversation – an awareness event at Red Deer College (RDC).

Organized by two RDC students with the support of the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) and the RDC Students’ Association, the purpose of the event was to create awareness around sexual violence, including rape prevention, victim blaming, consent and respect. The organizers’ goal is to shift the focus from placing blame on the victim to the perpetrators of these crimes.

Attendees perused the information booth and were handed a bag of tea, connected to the “consent as tea” video the students had playing as one of the information items.

The event positively showcased the benefits of creating a culture of respect. Feedback from students and faculty was encouraging.

This is the third year for the health promotion and prevention project between the three organizers. Last year’s two events were titled “Are you SEXcessful?,” an awareness and guidance event about positive sexual health and “This is What I Was Wearing When It Happened”, a reflection event bringing awareness around victim blaming and the stigma surrounding women’s clothing as the reason why they were sexually assaulted.

 

#IBelieveYou… Now What?

“I Believe You… now what?” was the topic of discussion on November 22 at a student-led forum at Red Deer College (RDC).

The Margaret Parsons Theatre was a full house, with several panelists speaking on the issue of sexual violence.

Two student ambassadors designed the evening event as part of the 2018 I Believe You campaign. The keynote event of the campaign featured six panelists from several disciplines and schools of thought within RDC including Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Philosophy and Criminal Justice.

Each panelist presented briefly from their perspective, which was followed by a question and answer period from students and the general public who were in attendance.

The evening was well attended and brought out a thoughtful discussion, to be continued on in to daily life, surrounding victim blaming, false reporting and the concept of creating a culture of respect.

 

The Ghomeshi Effect to hit the stage in Red Deer

With sexual violence dominating the news cycle and social media feeds, Ottawa’s award-winning documentary dance-theatre performance The Ghomeshi Effect offers a nuanced exploration of how the legal system handles sexual assault cases in Canada.

Following a limited run at the University of Ottawa’s LabO Theatre from October 23 to 27, the play will tour universities and communities in Ontario and Alberta, including London, Sudbury, North Bay, Cochrane and Area, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Edmonton and Fort McMurray. All performances are followed by a talkback with expert panellists from each community.

The Ghomeshi Effect will be presented in Red Deer by the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) on Friday, November 9 at the Red Deer Memorial Centre. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $5 per person.

In the aftermath of #MeToo and #TimesUp, The Ghomeshi Effect shares real-life stories of survivors alongside interviews with lawyers, academics, and support workers, and offers new perspectives and opportunities for open discussion through words and movement.

“We need to talk about this,” said Jessica Ruano, writer and director of The Ghomeshi Effect. “We need to find new ways of talking about it. We need to have conversations that move beyond provocative news articles and Facebook battles that are eliciting strong reactions, yet further dividing us.”

CASASC Executive Director Patricia Arango says the not-for-profit is thrilled to bring the impactful production to the central Alberta region.

“Through The Ghomeshi Effect, we can have a conversation on the topic of sexual violence and invite people to work together to prevent sexual violence,” said Arango. “We as a society need to recover our freedom and no longer live in fear. It begins first as a conversation, working towards preventing sexual violence in our community.”

The Ghomeshi Effect tackles sexual violence in Canada, particularly how it is handled in the legal system, through an edited series of documented interviews, and uses dance to inform and interrogate the language used in the discussion of sexual violence.

Written and directed by Jessica Ruano (2017 Femmy Award Winner) and choreographed by Amelia Griffin, this production features performers Nayeli Abrego, Leah Archambault, Elizabeth Emond-Stevenson, Gabrielle Lalonde, Joy Mwandemange, Emmanuel Simon, and Michael Swatton, as well as the work of lighting designer Benoît Brunet-Poirier and sound designer Martin Dawagne.

The Ghomeshi Effect was originally presented as part of The Gladstone’s 2016-17 Season and played at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Since then, members of the team have presented at the LEAF Gala in Toronto, International Women’s Day Ottawa, and Take Back the Night – Lanark County.

The Ghomeshi Effect acknowledges funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Alberta Status of Women.

Tickets are available through The Black Knight Ticket Centre (in person, by phone 403-343-6666 or online at https://tickets.blackknightinn.ca) or at the CASASC main office. High school students receive complimentary entrance at the door with a valid high school id.

For more information visit: https://theghomeshieffect.com/