Your 2021 Guide to Sexual Violence Awareness Month

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 Respect. 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 Respect Month and the iRespect Campaign

SVAM is about more than awareness – the ultimate goal is prevention. This year’s theme centres around creating a culture of respect everywhere we go.

CASASC believes the best way to prevent sexual violence is through the concept of respect. The idea for Respect Month is based off of CASASC’s proactive campaign titled iRespect. The goal of iRespect is to encourage everyone to conduct their lives and treat one another with respect. In this, sexual violence, and violence in general, will be eliminated. This campaign focuses on awareness and creating positive changes, dispelling the negative connotations of “rape culture.”

By promoting respect for others, you promote respect for yourself which is the most important. Together, we can create a culture of respect.

Sexual violence needs to be addressed and a message of hope needs to be relayed to survivors. This is why we choose to take action through showing respect.

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 LGBTQ2IA+ 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 creating a culture of respect. Want to get involved? We’ve got you covered. We have an array of events and ways for you to participate in Respect Month. More details about each individual event will be released throughout the month.

 

Calendar of Events:

-May 1 – Launch of Respect Month

We are going to relaunch the iRespect campaign. Find out how you can take action and create a culture of respect wherever you go.

-May 10 and May 31 – iRespect Yoga

Join CASASC staff as they lead two virtual respect-themed yoga classes designed for all bodies and abilities. On May 10 tune in at noon for a 30-minute accessible work-breather session where you are. No mat required. Join us on May 31 at 7 p.m. for a hatha practice. The sessions will be hosted by CASASC on Instagram live. Preregistration is not required.

-May 7 and May 21 – Respect education social media takeover

Tune in to our social media accounts when the education team takes over to talk about creating a culture of respect and other sexual violence issues in our community.

-May 6 and TBA – Coffee Chat with CASASC

Our online coffee chat show will return with two featured guests during the month of May. Our first chat is set for Thursday, May 6 at 10:30 a.m. with Sabrina Samuel, author of She Was. The second chat date and guest will be announced soon.

-May 13 and May 19 – CASASC Services + Intro to Sexual Violence presentation

Curious about what services CASASC offers? Want to enhance your sexual violence education? The CASASC education team will be hosting two virtual presentations via Zoom. on May 13 at 10:30 a.m. and May 19 at 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Services + Intro to Sexual Violence presentation is a public awareness and education presentation that introduces and highlights definitions and concepts related to sexual violence. It provides an overview as well as disclosure support and of course, a birds-eye view of all services and programs available at CASASC.

-May 28 – Respect Day

Day of Action. Wear your #iRespect t-shirt or the colour teal on this day.

-May 29 – IRESPECT scavenger hunt (Postponed)

Hunt for giant letters hidden around Central Alberta. Win prizes, activities and more.

-May 9, May 16, May 23 and May 30 – iRespect Myself, iNourish My Body Recipe Series

Each Sunday watch for a new healthy recipe you can try at home.

 

Available all month long:

-iRespect colouring pages

Join Ressie the Respect unicorn and colour two pages. Ressie wants to know one thing you can do to show respect? Share with us your coloured pictures to be entered to win a special prize. Email education@casasc.ca to be entered into the draw.

-iRespect statement sign

Make your own Respect statement. Print out your own sign, tell us how/what you respect. Send in your statement signs to education@casasc.ca or tag us in our social media. Use the #iRespect hashtag.

-iRespect – MADE TO RESPECT t-shirts

Individuals are encouraged to wear the classic CASASC t-shirt throughout the month. T-shirts are available at the main office for a nominal donation. Sizes are limited. Post a selfie of yourself wearing the t-shirt and tag CASASC in social media. Use the #iRespect hashtag.

-iRespect playlist

Listen to a respect and empowerment playlist curated by CASASC staff.

Find these month-long offerings on the iRespect tab of the CASASC website https://casasc.ca/irespect/ launching May 1.

 

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

 

Facebook: @CASASCRD

Twitter: @CASASC2

Instagram: @CASASC3

YouTube: Let’s Connect – CASASC

 

Hashtags: #iRespect, #SVAM, #cultureofrespect

Warming Winter Yoga

 

Join Bailey Martineau (trauma-informed certified kids yoga teacher) and Sarah Maetche (registered yoga teacher – RYT-200) for a warming yoga practice to designed to embrace these cold winter days.

This one-hour session is designed for EVERYBODY – all abilities, ages and bodies.

 

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 16th

Time: 12 p.m. (noon) and 7 p.m.

Place: CASASC Instagram (@CASASC3) via live

 

This session is brought to you by the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre. CASASC is committed to ending the culture of sexual violence and helping to build safer communities for all Central Albertans through promoting awareness and healing, education, empowerment and renewal. CASASC specializes in healing sexual trauma so you can talk freely about the hard stuff with no judgement.

This session is offered free-of-charge, but donations to CASASC are gratefully accepted. Donate online via Canadahelps: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/5162

Pre-registration is not required. Attend either session via Instagram Live (@CASASC3)

 

Giving Tuesday – Comfort items drive

Tuesday, Dec. 1st is Giving Tuesday, a global movement for giving and volunteering which takes place each year after Black Friday.

This year CASASC is launching a donation drive to collect comfort items for the SART (in-hospital) program.

CASASC offers a 24-hour Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). This team is a collaborative partnership between CASASC and the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. Together support and treatment is provided to those who have experienced recent sexual assault.

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre completes sexual assault exams for anyone within the Central Alberta Region and is the main regional artery and contact for towns and cities between Edmonton and Calgary. If a survivor decides to seek medical support at the hospital, it is reassuring to know a trained team is there to meet them and provide the best patient care and support.

When in the hospital, the survivor may also choose to speak with a CASASC trained SART member, who provide information and support. SART members offer each individual a care package that includes comfort items like a blanket, a stuffed animal, slippers or socks or a journal.

These comfort items provide individuals with a small piece of solace during a trying time. Each pair of slippers or blanket provided show compassion, care and love from the community.

SART members are there not only to support the survivor, but also their family members or anyone who may have come with them to the hospital.

The Central Alberta SART team provides in-hospital support to over 125 individuals each year.

Comfort items being collected include:

  • Slippers and/or fuzzy socks
  • Blankets
  • Journals

Due to COVID restrictions, only new items (or newly knitted items) are being accepted at this time.

Donations will be accepted between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at the CASASC main office (A201, 5212 48 Street). A donation bin will be set up in the front lobby area, just inside the doorway. Alberta Health Services guidelines will be strictly followed to protect the well-being of donors, clients, staff and community members.

Monetary donations will be accepted at the main office (cash, credit or cheque). Online donations to this campaign are accepted via our CanadaHelps page www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/central-alberta-sexual-assault-centre/comfort-and-care

 

Ask An Educator – Social Media Takeover

Join us on Friday across all of our social media platforms for Ask An Educator – a question and answer session all day long.

It’s a social media takeover to answer all of your questions like: have you ever wondered why we hear about sexting all the time? What’s the big deal around consent? What is a positive spin on relationships that I can talk with my kids/family/friends about? Now is your chance to find out.

Our prevention and community educators will be available from 9 a.m. on to answer your questions on things related to sexual violence, dating, healthy relationships, sexting, the digital world, consent and much more.

Ask questions on Facebook (@CASASCRD), Twitter (@CASASC2), Instagram (@CASASC3) and via email education@casasc.ca

At 3 p.m. we will be going live on Instagram (@CASASC3) for a special edition of Coffee Chat with CASASC. Tune in and let’s connect through out the day.

November is Family Violence Prevention Month

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, November is Family Violence Prevention Month (FVPM). The goal of FVPM is to raise public awareness around family violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it.

What is Family Violence:

Family violence is when someone uses abusive behaviour to control and/or harm a member of their family, or someone with whom they have an intimate relationship.

Family violence includes many different forms of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as neglect carried out by family members or intimate partners. It may include a single act of violence, or a number of acts that form a pattern of abuse. Family violence can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences for victims and for those who see or hear the violence.

Family violence can happen to people of all ages, abilities, cultural and spiritual backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations. Victims can be in romantic relationships, divorced, children (birth, step, adopted or foster), grandparents, or individuals with guardians or caregivers.

Family Violence and COVID-19:

Rates of family violence increase during and following natural disasters, public health crises and economic downturns. It is important to know where you can turn if you are experiencing family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Child sexual abuse

With the added stress and time together caused by COVID-19, families with unhealthy relationships are more likely to experience child sexual violence.

Social isolation

Isolation is a risk factor for family violence. Many people who experience family violence use their support of friends and family to manage their situation. Social distancing and self-quarantine or isolation during the COVID-10 pandemic can make it more challenging to access valuable relationships, but there are ways to stay connected.

How You Can Stay Involved All Month Long

Throughout November we’re featuring different ways you can get involved by promoting awareness. Want to get involved? We’ve got you covered. We’ve created custom FVPM graphics for you to share, tweet and tag CASASC throughout the month, along with many other resources and events:

-Purple ribbons – Small silk purple ribbons will be available at both CASASC locations throughout the month. Wear the purple ribbon in unity to show survivors of family violence that they are not alone.

-Purple #iRespect t-shirt – CASASC will have a special edition MADE TO Respect t-shirt available. Staff are encouraged to wear theirs throughout the month, and on Purple Day.

Events:

-Purple Day – Thursday, November 19th

Wear purple on this day to honour those affected by family violence. We believe in creating a world in which everyone feels safe in their homes. Show us your purple by sporting your purple #iRespect t-shirt, the purple ribbon or other purple items.

-Film Showing – Thursday, November 19th, Time TBA

Two short films on the topic of family violence will be shown at Carnival Cinemas. Time TBA. This event is a partnership between CASASC and the Central Alberta Film Festival (CAFF). We are so excited about this partnership and being able to feature two Alberta-made short films.

-Silent Witnesses (Purple Silhouettes) – TBA

CASASC will be hosting an outdoor exhibit with silent witnesses (purple human figure cut outs) to bring awareness to the issue of family violence in our community. The exhibit will be able to be viewed from your vehicle. More details to come.

-Ask An Educator Day – Friday, November 13th

On this day our amazing education team will be hosting a social media takeover of CASASC’s accounts. They will be answering questions throughout the day and will feature resources and information about programs and several topics. Later in the day, Coffee Chat with CASASC (our live chat show) makes it return with Bailey and Kailee both going live to answer questions. Make sure to tune in throughout the day.

-Made With Love Raffle – Ongoing month of November

The Made With Love store is hosting a raffle for CASASC throughout the month of November. Stop in the shop (5560 45 St Unit E15, Red Deer, AB)to purchase a ticket for the raffle basket, full of handcrafted items from the store. We are thrilled with this partnership with a local business.

Family Yoga Flow

Join Bailey Martineau (trauma-informed certified kids yoga teacher) and Sarah Maetche (yoga teacher in training) for a yoga flow designed for the family, whatever family means to you – parents, grandparents, stepkids, family by choice, found family or fur family.

Family Yoga Flow is offered at two different times: 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 5.

Family Yoga Flow is a one-hour session is designed for EVERYBODY – all abilities, ages and bodies. It is offered free-of-charge, but donations to CASASC will be gratefully accepted. 

A waiver will be sent out via email prior to the session.

We will send out the link (via email) for the Zoom session to those registered one hour before the scheduled session. For those who want to attend via Instagram Live, please join the feed (@CASASC3) at the scheduled time.

Link to morning session (10 a.m.): https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/family-yoga-flow-morning-tickets-126475406345

Link to evening session (6:30 p.m.): https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/family-yoga-flow-evening-tickets-126477101415

CASASC recognizes Orange Shirt Day

CASASC recognizes September 30th as Orange Shirt Day. This is a day we acknowledge the impacts residential schooling has had on Indigenous people in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. It is a way to commemorate the residential school experience, honour the healing that survivors and their families have and continue to go through, remember the children who did not make it home, and begin conversations around healing and reconciliation that have previously not taken place. 

Sept 30th was picked to recognize Orange Shirt Day as the day when Indigenous children would be taken and sent to residential schooling for most of the school year, sometimes into the summer. This day helps to reaffirm that every child matters. 

CASASC staff wore the orange Made to Respect t-shirt on Sept. 30th as a visual symbol of our awareness of the need for ongoing reconciliation. We are working to foster respect and mutual understanding with all Indigenous people and communities.

CASASC recognizes that we are situated on Treaty 7 land to the south of the Red Deer river, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot, Tsuu T’ina and Stoney Nakoda peoples, and that the Central Alberta region we serve falls under Treaty 6 traditional Métis, Cree and Saulteaux territory to the north of the Red Deer River. We honour the First Peoples (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) who have lived here since time immemorial, and we give thanks for the land we reside on

Story Time

CASASC educators read two stories in a special edition of CASASC Story Time on Sept. 30th.

“As educators, we reaffirm the statement that every child matters,” they said. “We are here today to read some stories related to Indigenous children’s experiences with residential schooling and encourage you to seek further information about the experiences of Indigenous people. At the end of the stream, we will recommend some resources you can seek out.”

You can watch the Orange Shirt Day edition of Story Time here

Resources:  

Orangeshirtday.org 

Trc.ca– truth and reconciliation commission’s website with all 91 recommendations

5th Annual Central Alberta Yogathon – the Virtual Experience

Roll out your mat for a great cause May 23rd! FREE!

Sat, 23 May 2020
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM MDT
FREE

The Rotary Club of Red Deer Sunrise presents the 5th Annual Central Alberta Yogathon – the Virtual Experience, in support of the 35th Anniversary of Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre providing education and support to individuals, families & communities throughout Central Alberta.

Connect with Central Albertans for a powerful day of mindful movement, wellness & rejuvenation. a Registration is FREE and open to people of all ages and abilities . Create your own experience as you choose from 10 different yoga & yoga-related sessions, led by certified instructors. The event also features short fitness demos, wellness tips and a virtual wellness trade show. The celebration kicks off at 8:30 AM, and closes with a sound bath meditation at 4:30 PM.

Here is how it will work:

Once the schedule is confirmed, you will be emailed with the link to choose your sessions. Sessions include Power Flow, Gentle Flow, Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Fusion and even some yoga for the little ones.

  1. Register
  2. Wait for the schedule choices link in your email to choose your Virtual Yogathon Experience
  3. Sign in on line May 23rd
  4. Enjoy!
 

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.