2022 Front Line Service Providers’ Awards

 

The CASASC team attended the 2022 Front Line Service Providers’ Awards on Nov. 28 at the Red Deer Resort and Casino.

The 18th annual awards ceremony, hosted by the Domestic and Relationship Violence Committee (DRVIC), is a time for front line service providers to come together to recognize each other and the meaningful work being done within these communities.

CASASC Crisis Support and SART Manager Erin Willmer was nominated for a Front Line Service Providers’ Award for working collaboratively with her colleagues and community partners as a compassionate leader, support and community connector.

“Erin is compassionate and caring and exemplifies respect, knowledge and leadership. She advocates for clients and those impacted by sexual violence and places their needs at the highest priority. Erin wears multiple ‘hats’ within her roles as a manager, front line responder, volunteer coordinator, team lead etc. and is excellent at switching between these roles in appropriate and knowledgeable ways.”

“Empowering victims on their next steps, Erin leads with compassion, care and respect.”

CASASC would like to congratulate all of the nominees and recipients at this year’s award ceremony.

What I Was Wearing When It Happened

A powerful window exhibit has been set up in downtown Red Deer to address victim blaming. In recognition of Family Violence Prevention Month, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) has set up What I Was Wearing When It Happened, a reflection exhibit along Ross Street.

The purpose of the exhibit is to bring awareness to the issue of victim blaming and the stigma surrounding individual’s clothing as the reason they were sexually assaulted.

The window exhibit features powerful statements paired with various types of clothing victims were wearing at the time they were assaulted. This is meant to be a real-life representation, a visual way to bring awareness around the still existing stigma.

This is the third year for the reflection exhibit. CASASC has hosted the exhibit previously on International Women’s Day. In 2018, the exhibit was hosted at Parkland Mall featuring over 300 pairs of shoes, each representing an Alberta woman who was missing or murdered. The shoe exhibit encouraged people to reflect on the lives of those women.

In 2019, CASASC partnered with the Students’ Association of Red Deer Polytechnic (S.A.) and two third-year BScN students of RDP for a similar exhibit featuring live mannequins. The exhibit was thought-provoking and interactive.

This year the exhibit is on display as a partnership between CASASC, the John Howard Society of Red Deer and the Central Alberta Community Legal Clinic.

What I Was Wearing When It Happened will be on display in the front windows facing Ross Street at 4916 50 Street until November 30. Viewers can easily peruse the window display from the sidewalk.

A Season of Giving

We are excited to launch of A Season of Giving campaign, a first for CASASC.
You can play an important role in supporting a survivor’s journey of renewal, empowerment and healing this season.
Find more info and to donate here on our campaign page on CanadaHelps: https://www.canadahelps.org/…/campaign/a-season-of-giving/

Consent – A short, yet impactful word

By Kailee Burkinshaw

Consent – A short, yet impactful word

What is one of the first things you think of when you hear the word “consent?”

Is it the term “no means no?” What about consent or permission forms from when you were in school? Or when it involves social movements such as the #MeToo hashtag? Consent can be all of these things and more.

Consent is a term that has always been around, but it may not have been as widely talked about as it appears to be now in our news, media, classrooms or virtual worlds. This is why it is important to understand consent and what it involves. Knowing more about consent creates a more informed, respectful and safe world, for reasons this blog post will discuss.

When someone is talking about consent, it begins as an agreement between two people or groups that they want to do something together. Everyone can say “yes” in the agreement, especially after they know what they are agreeing to do. Someone can say “no” in the agreement too.

Framing consent this way can put into perspective how we have all been practicing consent our entire lives.

Have you ever asked a friend to hang out with you? Asked a colleague if you can eat lunch with them? Asked someone out on a coffee date? Indicated to someone you liked that you wanted to hold their hand or kiss them?

If you have said “yes” to any of these questions, then you have been practicing consent.

Continuing to seek someone’s consent and have other people respect your choices when it comes to consent, is the cornerstone of creating healthy, respectful relationships in our lives.

The CASASC education team has regular conversations in our Central Alberta community about consent and healthy relationships. To learn more about these conversations and opportunities, you can reach out to the team at education@casasc.ca.

What is involved with consent?

Consent can start with a simple “yes” or “no” question. Consent can involve letting someone know all of their options when it comes to settings in the medical field, higher education or the workplace.

We have consent in our friendships, within our families and with our dating partners. From high fives, to hugs, and all the way up to and including all forms of sexual activity, we need to practice and be receptive to consent.

But how do we get consent? How do we know we are receiving the right signals for consent? And do we have to be crystal clear every time we ask for consent?

When asking for consent, there needs to be the following considerations:

  1. How well do you know this person? Is it your first time meeting them, or have you known them a long time? What sort of relationship do you have with them? Do you know what sort of activities they are comfortable with?
  2. How does the other person express a “yes” or “no” with their words or actions? Can you yourself recognize them?
  3. Does the person you are asking know all of what they are agreeing to?
  4. Is the person you are asking consent from in an alert, sober, conscious and sane state of mind to understand what you are asking of them?

When we reflect on our relationships with other people, and the sort of agreements we have with them because of our relationship to them, we can better understand how asking for and receiving consent will work with them.

Consent- Easy as FRIES and OYMY

Consent needs to be enthusiastic, specific and informed. It also needs to be reversible—someone can say “yes” but can say “no” later if they change their mind—and freely given. We do not force someone to say “yes.” Rearranging these words can give us the term FRIES, an easy way to remember the parts of consent.

Another way to remember consent is with the term “Only Yes Means Yes.” CASASC has adapted this term into a series of posters under the “Only Yes Means Yes (OYMY)” campaign. More information on the campaign can be found here: https://casasc.ca/only-yes-means-yes-when-it-comes-to-consent/. If you are interested in posters for your business or organization, you can reach out to CASASC’s EDU Team at education@casasc.ca.

Consent is an everyday practise and can be a way to honor and show respect and safety in our relationships and community.

Kailee Burkinshaw is a prevention educator with the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre.

Monthly update – CASASC Connections – November

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 November.

 

Need for online + virtual volunteers – email ewillmer@casasc.ca

We are in need of volunteers to join the 24/7 help line, with shifts available through the phone and text/webchat.

We are looking for minimum of five volunteers who can take one or two shifts a month with our helpline. Evening and weekend support is a bonus.

Using an eight-hour shift-based schedule the 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 are not needed. Seeking respectful, caring and supportive individuals.

 

Community Connections

If you are aware of any community events or booths (across Central Alberta) that we could attend throughout the year, please share with us at education@casasc.ca

Our presence at events is informative and awareness-based, educational, interactive and applicable for all audiences and ages. We do not talk about sexual health or sex education and can adapt our messaging to need topics or programs and services.

 

November is Family Violence Prevention Month

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. Use the colour purple to show your support all month long.

Visit our webpage to stay updated on all we have going on all month

Shine Bright – Purple is the colour of choice for Family Violence Prevention Month. Show your support by sporting purple lights and decorations throughout the month. Turn on those purple Christmas lights early, buy a purple light bulb for your porch light or get your workplace to shine purple.

November 25  – Purple Day of Action

Mark your calendar for November 25 and plan to wear purple. Join us as we wear purple and celebrate a Family Violence Prevention Day of Action with our communities.

Re-share Awareness

One of the most impactful and effective ways to show your support this November is to re-share and like messages on social media. Help organizations like CASASC to spread awareness far and wide about preventing family violence.

Start a conversation

There are so many ways to get involved:

-Start conversations with family and friends, let them know you are there to support them, show them you care

-Dispel myths about family violence

-Donate to a family violence prevention organization

Join in the action

Participate in one or more of our suggested social action activities. Complete them on or by November 25 and celebrate your successes with us.

-Kids/Teens – Make a card with a kind message for someone who you are grateful for (bus driver, librarian, teacher, counsellor, family member). Tell them how much you care about them or thank them for something nice they have done.

-Kids/Teens – Do something nice for a family member, sibling, cousin etc.

-Family – Do an activity together, something you’ve never done before or a game you all enjoy

-Family – Do an activity for each letter of the word P-U-R-P-L-E (ex. For the first P – go to the Play ground, U …, R – eat some red candy etc.)

-Adult – Do something fun/spontaneous with a friend – go for coffee, show them you care and are there to support them. Reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while.

-Create a safety plan, just like how we should have a safety plan in place for a natural disaster (even though we may never need it), we should have a safety plan in place for if we ever are in a place of harm/discomfort.

 

November editions of our online learning series

What happens on a 24/7 Sexual Violence Helpline (45 min)

Monday, Nov 28 @ 6-6:45 pm MST

Visit the link for session dates and times and to register:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/390733202527

 

Ask the Expert – Parenting and Sexualized Behaviour Support

Wed, Nov 30 @ 4-5 pm MST

Visit the link for session dates and times and to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/306744500057

 

Services + Programs at CASASC (30 min)

Thurs, Nov 10, 9:30-10:00 am MST

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305069279427

 

Introduction to Sexual Violence (60 min)

Tues, Nov 8, 10-11 am MST

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305057193277

 

Supporting Disclosures (45 min)

Mon, Nov 21, 11-11:45 am MST

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305060773987

 

Consent 101 (60 min)

Fri, Nov 18, 3-4 pm MST

Tues, Nov 29, 9-10 am MST

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305082248217

 

First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training

January 24 and 25, 2023

9:00 am – 5:00 pm MT

Calgary, Alberta

Join us for FRT training – Facilitated by a member of our CASASC team.

Early bird cost available to those who register by November 15.

Registration Required

$250 before Nov 15, 2022

$299 after Nov 15, 2022

Register here

This comprehensive training is intended to build the capacity of professionals, paraprofessionals, and community members to respond effectively to disclosure of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment from children and adults. Training covers the full continuum of topics related to sexual violence across the lifespan.

 

Celebrating one year of the Only Yes Mean Yes Consent Campaign

November 4 marks one year of Only Yes Means Yes consent campaign out in the community.

Need a poster refresh or would you like some business card sized information for public? Let us know and we’re happy to share with you.

OYMY changes how we look at and understand consent. It focuses on positive consent in which only affirmative consent matters.

Read more about the poster campaign and how to get involved here

 

 

Family Violence Prevention Month 2022

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 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.

 

Impacts:

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.

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

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.

 

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 Purple Day 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.

-Download the Purple Day poster here

-Download the Purple Day social image here

 

Presentations:

For the month of November CASASC is offering several virtual presentations on a variety of topics relating to sexual violence. All presentations are facilitated on Zoom and vary in length 30 mins to 60 mins.

Introduction to Sexual Violence (November 8)

Services & Programs at CASASC (November 10)

Consent 101 (November 18 and November 29)

Supporting Disclosures (November 21)

What Happens on a 24/7 Sexual Violence Helpline? (November 28)

Ask an Expert – Parenting & Sexualized Behaviour Conversations with our Clinical Expert (November 30)

 

Events:

-Education Social Media Takeover – Friday, November 18th

On this day our education team will be hosting a takeover of CASASC’s social accounts. They will be answering questions throughout the day and will feature resources and information about programs and several topics. Make sure to tune in.

-Purple Day – Day of Action – Friday, November 25

Wear purple on this day to bring awareness to family violence. We will provide suggestions on how you can take action in your community. Show us your purple by sporting your purple #iRespect t-shirt, the purple ribbon or other purple items. This is day marked by the Central Alberta community to show support for those affected by family violence.

 

Take action – Action items for Family Violence Prevention Month

Kids/Teens – Make a card, note, or message for someone who you are grateful for (bus driver, librarian, teacher, counsellor, family member) and give it to them with a big smile and a thank you. Tell them how much you care about them or thank them for something nice they have done.

Kids/Teens – Do something nice for a family member, sibling, cousin.

Family – Do an activity together, something you’ve never done before or a game you all enjoy.

Family – Do an activity for each letter of the word P-U-R-P-L-E (ex. For the first P – go to the play ground, U – go for a walk to find the underside of a bridge, R – eat some red candy….)

Adults – Do something fun/spontaneous with a friend – go for coffee, show them you care and are there to support them.

Reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Send that text.

General – Create a safety plan. Just like how we should have a safety plan in place for a natural disaster (even though we may never need it), we should have a safety plan in place for if we ever are in a place of harm/discomfort.

 

Monthly update – CASASC Connections – October

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 October.

 

Need for online + virtual volunteers – email ewillmer@casasc.ca

We are in need of volunteers to join our 24/7 help line, with shifts on phone call and text/web chat.

We are looking for minimum of five volunteers who can take one or two shifts a month with our helpline. Evening and weekend support is a bonus.

Using an eight-hour shift-based schedule the 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 are not needed. Seeking respectful, caring and supportive individuals.

 

Community Connections

October 20, Consent Booth @ RD Polytech

If you are aware of any community events or booths (across Central Alberta) that we could attend throughout the year please share with us at education@casasc.ca

Our booths and presence at events is informative and awareness based, educational, interactive and applicable for all audiences and ages. We do not talk about sexual health or sex education and can adapt our messaging to need topics or programs and services.

 

November is Family Violence Prevention Month

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. Use the colour purple to show your support all month long.

Stay tuned as CASASC and many of our partner and like-minded service organizations will be sharing and inviting you to take part in events, campaigns and initiatives throughout the month.

Day of Action – Purple Shirt Day – Mark your calendars for NOVEMBER 25 – as we wear purple and celebrate a Family Violence Prevention Day of Action with our community.

 

Online Learning Series

Is there a topic you’re interested in learning more about that we don’t currently have available? Let us know what interests you.

 

What happens on a 24/7 Sexual Violence Helpline (45 min)

Tue, Oct 25 @ 6-6:45 p.m. MST

Visit the link for session dates and times and to register:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/390733202527

 

Ask the Expert – Parenting and Sexualized Behaviour Support Virtual Session (September 26)

Friday, October 28 @ 4 – 5 p.m. MST

Visit the link for session dates and times and to register:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/306744500057

 

Services + Programs at CASASC (30 min)

Wednesday, October 19 @ 9 a.m.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305069279427

 

Introduction to Sexual Violence (60 min)

Friday, October 14 @ 1p.m.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305057193277

 

Supporting Disclosures (45 min)

Wednesday, October 26 @ 2 p.m.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305060773987

 

Consent 101 (60 min)

Wednesday, October 12 @ 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305082248217

 

Let’s connect

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

  • TikTok @CASASC5
  • Twitter @CASASC2
  • Facebook @CASASCRD
  • Instagram @CASASC3

 

First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training

This comprehensive training is intended to build the capacity of professionals, paraprofessionals and community members to respond effectively to disclosure of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment from children and adults. Training covers the full continuum of topics related to sexual violence across the lifespan. Delivered online or in-person.

For more information and current training dates visit here

*Community training opportunities available with local facilitators. Can’t make the pre-scheduled training dates, reach out and book a special training for your organization and/or community.

 

Only Yes Mean Yes Consent Campaign

OYMY changes how we look at and understand consent. It focuses on positive consent in which only affirmative consent matters.

Read more about the poster campaign and how to get involved here

 

#MomentsMatterAB

Research shows that a caring + inclusive workplace culture is an important defense against sexual harassment.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the #momentsmatterab campaign. Learn more here

 

Programs + Services

 

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.

 

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
  • One-on-one and group counselling
  • Sexualized Behaviour Support counselling

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)

bdunlop@casasc.ca

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.

KIP information and community connection sessions are available by request. Email us to learn more.

 

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 counselling 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

 

Education – Prevention and Awareness

education@casasc.ca

Email education@casasc.ca to inquire or for booking details. Now booking in schools and community groups across Central Alberta.

No Secrets (K-4): Two 35 min sessions. Topics on public vs private, personal body safety, what is safe vs unsafe, and how to ask for help from a student’s personal safety network.

iRespect MYSELF (Recommended Grades 5/6 and deliverable to Grades 4 and 7 upon further discussion): One 60 min session. Topics on personal safety rules, boundaries, self-esteem, communication, permission, labels and stereotypes, and diversity.

iRespect US 1 (Recommended Grades 5-7 and deliverable to Grade 8 upon further discussion): One 60 min session. Topics on communication, healthy peer relationships, healthy schools, conflict resolution, and personal power.

iRespect US 2 (Recommended Grades 5-7 and deliverable to Grade 8 upon further discussion): One 60 min session. Topics on personal power, bullying behaviors, cyberbullying, teasing, empathy, and the impacts of bullying behavior in schools.

Healthy Dating Relationships 101 (Recommended Grades 8-12 and deliverable to Grade 7 upon further discussion): One 60-90 min presentation educates students on healthy relationships, communication, conflict resolution, consent, consent laws, dating violence (physical, emotional, sexual), sexting, and sexting laws.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2022

The CASASC office will be closed Friday, September 30 for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

CASASC staff, led by the Kinship Intervention Program (KIP), will be participating in reflection, awareness and educational initiatives throughout the day. We seek to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis survivors and their families, acknowledging the ongoing impacts of Residential Schools.

September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day – a national movement in Canada.

From the University of Victoria: “In this annual event, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people come together in the spirit of hope and reconciliation to honour former residential school students, their families and communities. We consider the impacts of the policies and actions of the Government of Canada and the churches that operated the schools.

Orange Shirt Day began in Williams Lake, BC in 2013 at the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event at which survivor Phyllis Webstad told the story of her shiny new orange shirt taken away from her on her first day of school at the Mission.

Orange Shirt Day occurs in early Fall because this is the time of year when children were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools. The day inspires Canadians to take part in anti-racism and anti-bullying initiatives at school and work.

The residential school era began in the early 1870’s, with the last school closing in 1996. More than 150,000 Indigenous, Métis and Inuit children attended these schools. There are an estimated 80,000 survivors living today.”

CASASC is committed to reconciliation. On Friday we will wear our orange iRespect t-shirts as a visual symbol of our awareness of the need for ongoing reconciliation and accountability.

We encourage you to seek further information about the experiences of Indigenous people, especially in regards to residential schooling.

We are here to support our community during this time. If you need support, we have our 24/7 Sexual Violence Help Line by phone at 1 866 956 1099 or by webchat at www.casasc.ca

You can also reach the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line by phone 1-866-925-4419

The importance of prevention

By Bailey Martineau

The Importance of Prevention:

Welcome to prevention education. We’re so glad that you have found us! You may be wondering what ‘prevention education’ is and why is it important for you, your children, grandchildren, and all school children.  Well, you have come to the right place!  This blog will explore the importance of prevention, why we provide prevention education, and why it is needed in our schools.

If you are new to Central Alberta, CASASC has a dedicated education team that specializes in the prevention of childhood sexual abuse. You can find more information about our programs and/or book us to deliver our program to your organization at education@casasc.ca.

Now, on to explaining the importance of prevention.

As a former preschool teacher, I witnessed firsthand the impact of sexual abuse on a child. Children under the age of five do not have the developmental ability to discern when someone’s motives are insincere or when someone is lying.  So, if they feel uncomfortable with something that has happened to them, they typically will tell someone they trust.  These ‘disclosures may occur during, dramatic play, reading a book, or even during one-on-one time. Students usually came to me during free play time, when colouring, or just quietly reading books – and they would share what happened that is making them uncomfortable.  Oftentimes, nothing needed to be said as it was clear in the child’s demeanor when dropped off at school by their guardian.  As adults who know and understand the signs of abuse, we need to be the voice and advocate for children who don’t understand what is happening to them.

If you are fortunate enough to have a child trust you enough that they come to you and tell you something that happened to them, you should feel honoured; this means that you are a safe person for that child. No need to feel scared. That child chose you to help them! Having an understanding of prevention is so important so you know how you can do to help that child.

The signs of childhood sexual abuse are not always obvious and as a result, it is important to learn the signs and symptoms so that early action can be taken, thereby ending or preventing abuse.

Prevention is important to everyone – and the best prevention is education.  We make sure everyone is aware of the elements of body safety. Children need to understand what consent is and how to impose body boundaries that they are comfortable with.  Prevention education empowers everyone in positive ways.

Have you ever wondered about the steps involved in prevention education?  Following are some steps that we, as a community, can take.

  1. Act: Do something. As a community, we need to act. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering what you can do to prevent childhood sexual abuse. We must counteract it with kindness, grace, practice, and most importantly, believing the child/youth if they come to talk to you about it. If you know – or even suspect – childhood sexual abuse, it’s your responsibility (and the law!) to report it immediately.
  2. Join Forces: Reach out to non-profits in your community who talk and teach about sexual abuse – churches, schools, libraries, and other civic groups – to get involved in prevention programs.
  3. Support the victim: Believe the victim. Report when necessary. Offer support, empathy, and kindness. Let them know they are not alone. Help to find resources to start the healing journey.
  4. Educate Yourself: Programs like ours help children, youth and adults understand body boundaries, consent, relationships, and safe or unsafe adults. We give them a voice and the tools to prevent sexual abuse.
  5. Speak up: Let’s give childhood sexual abuse a voice. Let’s stop it in its tracks. The more we talk about it, learn, and educate, the less likely abuse can happen. Prevention begins with each one of us!

Prevention strategies aim to stop violence before it occurs by addressing the way individuals, relationships, community, and societal factors impact interpersonal violence.

Given my past experiences, I am impassioned to ensure everyone is educated on the prevention of sexual abuse.  My hope is that, as a community, we can use these steps to recognize, act, and prevent sexual abuse in our community.

Why Prevention Education?

This is where we take social action through prevention education:

Prevention education builds confidence, critical thinking skills and helps prepare children and youth for potentially dangerous situations in the real world. We should teach children and youth assertive skills so they can respond appropriately and say “no!” when necessary.

Prevention education also requires that children and youth know what a safe adult is and where a safe adult is allowed within their body boundary.

Here is a question for you what makes a safe adult? How do children and youth know that a specific adult is safe to be around?  Are you, as the adult, able to respond to this question? Do you think your child or grandchild understands this? If not, it’s time to have a conversation about safe adults.

Another question to think about: Do you know what a body boundary is?

In our prevention program, we discuss and have related activities on body boundaries. What touches are allowed in each bubble? Our No Secrets program teaches that “no one should look at, no one should touch, and no one should take pictures of our private parts.” If this rule is broken, our prevention education teaches the skills of “no, go, tell” – say “no” loudly, go somewhere safe and tell a safe adult what happened.

We also teach that a doctor should be one of the only people that can look at or touch us in order to keep us healthy – but only with our permission and consent.

Research shows that elementary age children are not developmentally able to lie, so it’s important that if a child says someone has touched them inappropriately, adults believe them.

Our program also teaches the importance of learning the correct body part names as when children and youth are familiar and comfortable with body part names, they can tell a safe adult what happened and there is no misunderstanding.

We want children and youth to feel empowered when it comes to their bodies and boundaries. Our program, like any other prevention education program on sexual abuse, is not sex education; rather it is a prevention program to ensure children and youth are equipped with tools to stop an act before it happens and to educate about right from wrong and what is (or is not) appropriate.

Why is Prevention Education Needed in Schools?

Just like learning how to do a fire drill or a lock down, children need to learn and understand how to keep their bodies safe. Teaching these concepts in an age-appropriate classroom setting with peers fosters autonomy and self-esteem.

Bailey Martineau is a prevention educator at the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre.

Monthly update – CASASC Connections – September

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 September.

 

Community Booths

Come visit us at community booths and events.

September 9 @ Golden Circle (Red Deer)

September 15 @ Bowden Community Registration Night (Bowden)

September 29 @ Seniors Information Fair (Collicutt Centre, RD)

October 5 @ Mental Illness Awareness Week (RD Polytech)

October 20, Consent Booth @ RD Polytech

 

Ride for Respect – Thank you

The first annual CASASC Ride for Respect was held on Saturday, August 27 at Bower Ponds in Red Deer. The day was filled with live music, family activities, vendors, a barbeque and the motorcycle poker rally of course. Close to a hundred volunteers joined us for the day, making it possible to bring awareness to our cause.

A big thanks to volunteers, sponsors and attendees for making the Ride for Respect possible.

Thank you!

 

Virtual 50/50

Live, virtual 50/50 fundraiser. Get your tickets today for a chance to win up to $10,000.

Tickets available until September 30. Purchase them here

 

Virtual Silent Auction

Check out our virtual silent auction. Over 70 items available to bid on, guaranteed to have something for everyone in the family.

Bidding open until September 14. Check out the silent auction here

 

Online Learning Series

Our virtual learning series will be continuing all year long. Please join us for each month as we hosting various free and virtual education lessons for the community.

 

What happens on a 24/7 Sexual Violence Helpline (60min)

Join us for an informal session about operating and volunteering on a 24/7 Sexual Violence Helpline. Use this opportunity to learn about the helpline and how you can utilize it in your community/workplace. Hear what it takes to volunteer on a help line. Help us share this free resource out to our Alberta community.

Tue, Sept 13 @ 5-6pm MST

Tue, Oct 18 @ 6-7pm MST

Visit the link for session dates and times and to register:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/390733202527

 

Ask the Expert – Parenting and Sexualized Behaviour Support Virtual Session (September 26)

Monday, September 26 @ 4 – 5 p.m. MST

Visit the link for session dates and times and to register:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/306744500057

 

Services + Programs at CASASC (30 min)

Friday, September 16 @ 9 a.m.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305069279427

 

Introduction to Sexual Violence (60 min)

Wednesday, September 7 @ 11 a.m.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305057193277

 

Supporting Disclosures (45 min)

Thursday, September 8 @ 11 a.m.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305060773987

 

Consent 101 (60 min)

Wednesday, September 21 @ 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/305082248217

 

Programs + Services

 

Education – Prevention and Awareness

education@casasc.ca

The new school year is here! Connect today to help bring out programs into your schools.

We provide free, prevention education programs for Grades K-12 across Centra Alberta. These programs are respect and relationship focused and are NOT sexual health or sex ed.

Delivered by our award-winning Education team (recipients of the 2022 Inspiration Award for Sexual Violence Prevention).

Helping to support the current CALM outcomes and new AB Education K-6 curriculum, our education programs are prevention focused and help to build personal safety and healthy relationship skills for all students.

 

Elementary and middle school:

No Secrets (K-4): Two 35 min sessions. Topics on public vs private, personal body safety, what is safe vs unsafe, and how to ask for help from a student’s personal safety network.

iRespect MYSELF (Recommended Grades 5/6 and deliverable to Grades 4 and 7 upon further discussion): One 60 min session. Topics on personal safety rules, boundaries, self-esteem, communication, permission, labels and stereotypes, and diversity.

iRespect US 1 (Recommended Grades 5-7 and deliverable to Grade 8 upon further discussion): One 60 min session. Topics on communication, healthy peer relationships, healthy schools, conflict resolution, and personal power.

iRespect US 2 (Recommended Grades 5-7 and deliverable to Grade 8 upon further discussion): One 60 min session. Topics on personal power, bullying behaviors, cyberbullying, teasing, empathy, and the impacts of bullying behavior in schools.

 

High School range:

Healthy Dating Relationships 101 (Recommended Grades 8-12 and deliverable to Grade 7 upon further discussion): One 60-90 min presentation educates students on healthy relationships, communication, conflict resolution, consent, consent laws, dating violence (physical, emotional, sexual), sexting, and sexting laws.

 

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.

Need for online + virtual volunteers – email ewillmer@casasc.ca

We are in need of volunteers to join our 24/7 help line, with shifts on phone call and text/web chat.

We are looking for minimum of five volunteers who can take one or two shifts a month with our helpline. Evening and weekend support is a bonus.

Using an eight-hour shift-based schedule the 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 are not needed. Seeking respectful, caring and supportive individuals.

 

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
  • One-on-one and group counselling
  • Sexualized Behaviour Support counselling

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)

bdunlop@casasc.ca

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.

KIP information and community connection sessions are available by request. Email us to learn more.

 

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 counselling 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

 

Let’s connect

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

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