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Rotary Club of Red Deer supports help line

The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) recently received funding from the Rotary Club of Red Deer.

CASASC Executive Director Patricia Arango accepted the $5,000 grant funding from Rotary Club members during their virtual monthly meeting on January 11.

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

The help line is a community-driven support line available to anyone within the community, anytime of the day, who is affected by sexual violence. Anonymous, confidential support, information and referrals are provided through this volunteer-driven help line. Whether you’ve recently experienced sexual violence, you are a friend of someone who has in the past, or you are a support person who has a question, trained volunteers are there to listen and support. They are here to connect with you where you are and empower you to your next steps towards healing. This line is available to anyone in need across Alberta.

The 24 help line provides around the clock support in real-time, assisting with immediate issues of stress, distress or triggers. During the pandemic the help line saw a substantial increase: in July 2020 the help line saw a 234% increase in demand for service compared to July 2019. A 90.3% increase for service was recorded from June 2020 to July 2020.

The funds from the Rotary Club were generated from the Annual Christmas Donation campaign. Four other community organizations in Red Deer also recieved funds.

 

Alberta Government announces more funding for sexual assault support centres

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The Alberta Government is expanding front-line services across the province with a $8.1 million investment in the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS), to ensure survivors who take the brave step to come forward have the supports they need.

This funding announcement was made on March 7 in Edmonton.

As part of the AASAS membership, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre will be one of the centres receiving increased funding.

Across the province, sexual assault centres and law enforcement are reporting increased demand for counselling services. The government-funded AASAS #IBelieveYou campaign against the backdrop of the global #MeToo movement, are starting to help survivors feel safe about reaching out for help.

“Courageous women in Alberta and around the world are finally breaking their silence and sharing their stories of sexual assault and harassment,” said Status of Women Minister Stephanie McLean. “We hear them and we stand with them. Today, we are taking action – funding more counselling and helping people navigate the court and police systems so all survivors are supported on their healing journey.”

AASAS will use the money for ongoing funding of front-line services, including expanding crisis response and greater use of specialized police and court support workers. The funding is from Community and Social Services, Health, and Justice and Solicitor General.
“As a government, we owe it to survivors to take every step necessary to ensure they have the supports they need when they come forward,” said Minister of Community and Social Services Irfan Sabir. “This funding continues our government’s commitment to provide supports for survivors as well as tools for sexual assault prevention and education.”
The funding is additional to the almost $44 million invested since 2015 to support a wide range of programs and services to prevent sexual violence and support survivors in communities across Alberta.
“These funds will have a tremendous impact on the lives of survivors,” said AASAS CEO Deb Tomlinson. “They will not only address the 53 per cent increase in new counselling clients and unprecedented wait lists our member agencies faced, but will allow us to provide specialized services to rural areas of Alberta.”
AASAS will also hire more staff in seven under-served communities so survivors in those regions get the support they need close to home.
Sexual violence refers to any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality. Government works across ten ministries with agencies and community organizations across the province to prevent sexual violence, support survivors and ensure the social, justice, health and educational systems respond to survivors.

Funding details:

  • $6.225 million from Community and Social Services (CSS), for increased counselling, outreach and education services, and to develop a Collaborative Community Response Model targeting seven underserved regions in the province:
    • North West – High Level, High Prairie, Peavine, Rainbow Lake, Fort Vermillion;
    • North East – Fort Chipewyan, Fort McKay, Janvier;
    • North Central – Wabasca, Slave Lake, Athabasca;
    • Central West – Hinton, Jasper, Edson;
    • Central East – Bonnyville, Cold Lake, St. Paul, Lac La Biche;
    • Bow Valley – Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise; and
    • South West – Lethbridge, Cardston, Taber, Pincher Creek
  • $750,000 from Health for specialized counselling and expanded services.
  • $1.09 million from Justice and Solicitor General to enhance police and court support services.