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October 2018
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Alberta Initiatives

#IBelieveYou

#IBelieveYou set out to change the way the public—mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, and family—responds to someone who has been sexually assaulted. This is a big issue because sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes. But that’s changing. As survivors feel safe to tell, more are coming forward to get help, report, and de-stigmatize this crime.

Over the past three years, the campaign has increased the number of Albertans who would give a positive, compassionate response to a sexual assault survivor from 21% to 77%, and the number who would use the words I believe you from less than 1% to 21%. This is a tremendous shift in a short time.

This year AASAS asked campaign partners to create videos that join in the discussion around #IBelieveYou ...Now What? These videos have been shared on AASAS social media through September and will continue into October. Here are a few examples.
AASAS on Why #IBelieveYou ...Now What?
Thoughts on #IBelieveYou ...Now What?
from Concordia University Edmonton President
Waypoints Responding to #IBelieveYou ...Now What? and Some Men's Fear of Hiring or Working Closely With Women
Alberta University students discuss the positive impacts of #IBelieveYou 
Let's continue to build the culture of believing in Alberta and communities that are safer and healthier for everyone - visit the AASAS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to view and share these videos, and many more, with your networks.
Judilonne Beebe Honoured at AASAS AGM

Judilonne Beebe, who has just retired from her position as the ED at Association of Communities Against Abuse, was honoured at the AASAS Annual General Meeting.

All of her work, her lifetime of work, has involved helping people who were affected by violence and abuse – and that she has done faithfully for 45 years. 

Her first job involved living and working on an Aboriginal settlement in Alberta. She worked in Youth Assessment Centres in Lethbridge and then Lac la Biche. She worked in the Camrose Women’s Shelter as a crisis worker, where she's still involved as Chair of the Board of Directors and has been for many years.
 
Back in 1988 she became part of a committee to form what is today Association of Communities Against Abuse (ACAA) in Stettler. They opened their doors in 1990 – so 28 years!
 
The program she has been instrumental in developing and maintaining covers a very large area – from Drumheller to Vermillion and from Highway 21 to the Saskatchewan border. All the therapists work in their own community and get together as a group about six times a year. Board members also come from surrounding communities, sometimes travelling as far as 2.5 hours to get to meetings.

What an amazing and tremendously successful model of rural service delivery! We were so lucky in 2013 when ACAA joined AASAS as a member of network. 

It only seems fitting that AASAS recognize Judilonne's lifetime of work with an Honorary Membership.

In the News

Sexual Violence a Major News Topic

It's been a busy month in the news, with several AASAS member agencies being quoted.

The #IBelieveYou campaign expanded in Ontario this year. For the first time Carleton University participated and AASAS CEO Deb Tomlinson was called upon to provide comment in their newspaper

The return of #IBelieveYou to the University of Lethbridge was featured in the Lethbridge Herald.

First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training in Lloydminster was promoted by Lloydminster Now.

The internet exploded with indignation when the news broke about Northlands statement of defence in a civil sexual assault case, which was overwhelmingly victim-blaming. The organization later stated they hadn't approved the statement and would be changing it.

Calgary's increased number of sexual violence cases being reported to the police was featured in a CBC story. It's important to note the misleading headline - there is no sex crime spike in Calgary, it's simply that more people are feeling safe enough to report.

The potential appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court in the US has made news across North America due to allegations of sexual assault against him. The Calgary Herald printed an appalling column - which we won't link to and increase the traffic to it. Fortunately, AASAS and CCASA were able to collaborate and write a factual, well-informed column in response. 

The intense coverage of the Kavanaugh situation, including the massive response on social media, has been fatiguing and sometimes triggering. SACE commented on this in a Star Edmonton article.

Training Opportunities

First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training

What will Participants Learn?

This training is intended to build the capacity of professionals, paraprofessionals and community members to assess and respond effectively to disclosures of sexual assault and sexual abuse. Survivors who receive safe and supportive responses to disclosures of sexual violence are more likely to reach out for help from medical and counselling services and/ or report to police. First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training™ is a comprehensive two day training, inclusive of the full continuum of sexual violence and across the lifespan.

Upcoming training dates:
Oct 2-3 Lethbridge (Private Training)
Oct 4-5 Lethbridge (Registration Open)
Oct 15-16 Edmonton (Private Training)
Oct 25-26 Lloydminster (Registration Open)
Nov 1-2 Grande Prairie (Private Training)
Nov 3-4 Grande Prairie (Private Training)
Nov 5-6 Fort McMurray (Private Training)
Dec 11-12 Edmonton (Registration Open)

Please visit the AASAS website regularly for new training dates.

If you would like to coordinate a First Responder Training in your community, organization, or institution – please email AASAS.
Anxiety in Children and Youth Workshop

Childhood and adolescence are critical times for emotional and psychological development. During these stages, anxiety patterns can begin that continue into adulthood. Having caregivers who are equipped to support and teach children and youth skills for managing and interrupting their anxiety patterns is crucial for early intervention. 

This full day workshop will provide participants with a diverse range of skills designed to decrease anxiety and expand the capacity for managing emotions and anxious thought patterns when working with children & adolescents.

Registration is $100 per person.

Call 780-539-6692 or  email for more information and to register.
Pace is hosting a Two-Day Train the Trainer: Healthy Youth Relationships
In Partnership with Canadian Red Cross.

Red Cross Healthy Youth Relationships helps teens gain the knowledge and skills to develop healthy relationships and prevent dating violence. Educating teens on healthy peer and intimate relationships is an essential part of a community-wide approach for building and promoting safety.

PREVENTION EDUCATOR TRAINING:
The Healthy Youth Relationships Prevention Educator Training is a 14 hour training to prepare staff to facilitate the Healthy Youth Relationships program. Adults are trained and certified to deliver lessons to young people ages 12–17, and to work with trained Youth Facilitators. 

Seats are limited / Meals are not provided.
Open to anyone: community members, professionals, students, first responders, and frontline workers.

For more information or to register call 780-539-6692 or  email
Sexual Violence in Higher Education

Bow Valley College, in partnership with Protect International Risk and Safety Services Inc, is pleased to present Sexual Violence in Higher Education 1-Day Conference and 2-Day Workshop. The Conference is taking place on January 21st 2019 and the Workshop on January 21-23 2019.

1-Day Conference, participants will learn:
  • Cutting edge topics related to investigations and risk assessments of sexual violence
  • Professionals’ responsibilities
  • Information sharing
  • Parallel investigations
  • Best practices of trauma-informed investigations for sexual violence
  • Introduction to triage, assessment, and management of risk for sexual violence
  • Panel discussions with diverse community stakeholders will focus on challenging issues and promising practices related to sexual violence in higher education
2-Day Workshop- Risk for Sexual Violence Protocol (RSVP) tool in detail
  • Key concepts and general principles related to sexual violence risk assessment and management
  • Learn the administration steps in the Structured Professional Judgment model risk formulation and management strategies
  • Learn to administer the Risk for Sexual Violence Protocol (RSVP)
  • Practice case using the RSVP
  • Report writing and risk communication
Learn more and register!
Pace, in partnership with the Grande Prairie Regional College, is starting the crisis management certificate program. The program focuses on compassion for self and others, and skill development when working with individuals dealing with violence, abuse and trauma.

Learn more and register!

Member Agency Events & Updates

AVIVA Community Fund

For ten years, the AVIVA Community Fund has been donating to create positive change in the community. This year, two AASAS member agencies have ideas in the running for donations of $10,000.

Please consider supporting the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE) and the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) with your votes.

If CASASC receives funding, it will support their confidential, 24-hour text and webchat support line. The issues of recent sexual assault, historic sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking/criminal harassment and child sexual abuse are handled by specifically trained volunteers on the line. Learn more and vote for CASASC!

Any funds received by SACE will go towards a pilot program that will help them eliminate some of the barriers immigrants and refugees face that prevent them from accessing sexual assault support services. Learn more and vote for “Exploring Resilience: Sexual Violence Information and Support Workshop for Newcomers”.

Voting deadline is October 4th - so vote today!
Lakeland Business of the Year Nominee

Dragonfly Counselling & Support Centre (DCSC) is proud to announce that they have been nominated for the Lakeland Business of the Year (BOYA) Awards. It is an outstanding honour to be nominated alongside other outstanding businesses and organizations that serve the North East Region of Alberta. DCSC extends thanks to this year's hosts, Bonnyville Chamber of Commerce and Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. Award recipients will be acknowledged during a dinner on Friday, October 12.  
Making an Impact

Last year, Dragonfly Counselling & Support Centre (DCSC) partnered with Fishing Lake Metis Settlement to launch a weekly counselling clinic to community members and students in FLMS. It was such a success that DCSC has been invited back to continue the work this year. This fall DCSC will continue to travel to FLMS to provide individual counselling services to those who are interested. The goals of this newer initiative is to: 
  • provide approachable and accessible counselling and support services on a consistent basis;
  • reduce stigma of accessing counseling and support services, especially among young people;
  • provide preventative support to children, youth and adults in need;
  • to provide emotional coping and life skills to individuals dealing with challenges in their lives. 
 
DCSC thanks FLMS, the students, community members, staff and leadership at J.F. Dion school and FLMS administration for inviting DCSC into their community. DCSC was honoured last year to provide services and is excited to continue this important work together. 
Personal Safety and Wellness Program

Frog Lake School has partnered with Dragonfly Counselling & Support Centre (DCSC) to launch their Personal Safety and Wellness Program over the course of the school year. The purpose of this program is to teach children and youth effective personal safety strategies in a fun, age-appropriate and interactive way that builds resiliency skills and reduces their likelihood of victimization in the online and offline world. Topics include healthy relationships, safe and responsible use of technology, addressing high-risk behaviour, sending pictures online, as well as building capacity to handle difficult situations and knowing when to seek help. This program meets the objectives outlined within the Alberta Health and Wellness curriculum.  
 
Specialized education and support workers will deliver the program on a monthly basis, creating a presence and building rapport with children, youth and the school community, while tackling a new theme each month. The great thing about this program is the consistent presence and messaging of key information over a 1-year school term.  
 
Lessons and topics are geared towards three age groups, with specific activities designed for each grade level.  Age groups consist of: 1) Kindergarten - Grade 3, 2) Grades 4-8, 3) Grades 9-12.  
 
DCSC is grateful to the leadership, parents, staff and students of Frog Lake School who are committed to work together to launch this great initiative! 
Copyright © 2018 Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services, All rights reserved.