October 2017
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Alberta Initiatives


The annual #IBelieveYou campaign launched on September 11th and we were thrilled that our hashtag was trending at number three in Canada that day! It was standing room only at the Edmonton launch and Calgary's launch featured a live performance of an original song that was created just for the campaign.

AASAS was fortunate to have the Hon. Irfan Sabir, Minister for Community and Social Services, speak in Calgary and the Hon.Stephanie McLean, Minister for Status of Woman, speak in Edmonton. 

New in 2017:
  • A new 30second PSA takes people into the life of multiple survivors and shows the compassionate response by friends and family, modeling the behavior we want people to follow. 
  • For the first time, a digital mosaic pulls together all messages of support that are hashtagged #IBelieveYou on Twitter and Instagram, and collects them within an interactive digital image. Everyone can watch the mosaic fill out, and add their voice with each #Ibelieveyou message. Through the mosaic, we’ll showcase the breadth of support for survivors in a single digital image. 
  • On campuses this year, we have portable graffiti walls as a way for students to visually send their messages of support and to provide a backdrop for photos and selfies. 
  • A person with a disability (a young girl with Downs Syndrome) is visually represented in one of the campaign posters. Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault. That’s why the campaign is inclusive of gender, age, sexual orientation, and now disability. 
  • Talented Calgary musician Jesse Peters has written and produced “Not Your Fault” a song inspired by the campaign and survivors that he knows, as well as his own experience with believing.
Displays are being hosted at post secondary campuses and are manned by the amazing sexual assault services providers across the province.

The campaign is running until the end of October so let's keep promoting it! Visit and click 'Add Me' to add your supportive message to survivors - and share that link with others.

The #IBelieveYou website also includes posters, social media banners and videos you can download.

Share the PSA and graffiti wall videos that are linked above and encourage others to 'Add Your Voice' and help build the culture of believing in Alberta so survivors of sexual violence feel safe to tell and seek help.
Gender Equality Network of Canada

The Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services is pleased to participate in the Gender Equality Network of Canada.  With the support of Status of Women Canada, the Canadian Women’s Foundation will facilitate the national collaboration of a diverse group of women leaders from across the country to develop a national network that will advance gender equality. The network will be supported to identify and address systemic issues affecting women's equality in Canada.

The first national meeting of the Gender Equality Network of Canada was held on September 18-20 in Toronto, ON. The three day meeting assembled 150 women to work towards strengthening the women's movement and equality for women.

For a glimpse into the discussion and activities of the first national meeting, search #GENCREGC on your Twitter feed.

In the News

AASAS was very fortunate to have a survivor of sexual violence speak at the Edmonton launch of #IBelieveYou this year. Who better to articulate the value of a believing response than someone who has felt what it's like to not be believed? 

Kristen Raworth also did follow up interviews with a variety of news outlets. Here's just one of her radio appearances:

The Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED
At the Calgary launch, Hilary Jahelka, vice-president of student life with the University of Calgary’s Students’ Union and survivor, also shared her experience with the media - including the Calgary Herald

Having individuals speaking in a public forum and to the media about their experiences demonstrates the success of #IBelieveYou. Survivors are starting to see there is a large community of support in Alberta and our hope is the number who feel safe to tell and seek help will continue to grow.   

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:
November 13-14   Medicine Hat
November 13-14   Brooks
November 13-14   Lac La Biche
November 15-16   Lac La Biche (closed training for Portage College)
November 16-17   Medicine Hat
November 16-17   Brooks
November 28-29   Lloydminster
November 30-December 1 Grande Prairie
December 2-3  Grande Prairie
December 6-7  Edmonton

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 contact Katie Roberton.
Counselling Adult Survivors of Sexual Violence

This course offers an integrative, mindfulness-based approach to ongoing assessment and interventions with adult survivors (all genders) of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. It draws on the most current theory including feminist, attachment, regulation, and interpersonal neurobiology; and evidence-based practices, including mindfulness, cognitive, emotion-centred, somatic, neurofeedback and other emergent approaches for trauma, addiction and mental health.

The fall session is closed – but stay tuned for January course details which will be coming soon.

Member Agency Events & Updates

Trauma Informed Yoga

The Lloydminster Sexual Assault Centre now utilizes trauma informed yoga as another service for survivors to access.

This program provides survivors a safe place to become familiar with and reclaim their bodies, helps them become grounded in the present moment, and allows them to explore the benefits of mindfulness as they flow breath to movement in guided trauma-informed practice and meditation.

There is no doubt that trauma impacts brain functioning. After experiencing trauma, the amygdala goes into over-drive and anticipates danger even when there is none. Flight, fight and freeze is always turned on which can leave the body feeling unregulated and unsafe. The practice of trauma-sensitive yoga can help survivors establish safety and resource their body in a way that feels authentic and manageable; truly unique to their needs.

The program is provided by Meaningful Movement.
Men In Feminism Discussion Series

Presented by Calgary Communities Against Sexual absue, the Men In Feminism Discussion Series is an opportunity to come together and have a conversation around masculinity, what it means to have men involved in feminism, and that men absolutely have a role to play and are welcome in conversations around gender based violence. Each topic will be different and will look at a commonly overlooked aspect that is either related to masculinity or a part of how men are raised in our society.

The series will use a variety of media, discussion questions, and current events to frame and encourage discussion.

How to Be an Ally
There are more men than ever joining the feminist movement and engaging in social justice work. Join us for a discussion about how men can be effective allies within the feminist movement. Bring your questions and ideas about men’s place in the movement, how they can be most effective, and anything else you want to talk about.
November 8 (6 - 8pm)

“Boys will be Boys”
Come and participate in a discussion on the infamous “Boys will be Boys” phrase and the implications of it being so common. Bring your questions, ideas, and experiences with this commonly touted adage. We will examine the implications of this phrase, the connection it has to male and female socialization, the role of this saying in gender inequality, and what it would mean to challenge this sentiment.
October 18 (6 -8pm)
November 22 (6 - 8pm)

You Are What You See
Representation matters. The majority of media is created by men for other men and this has significant implications for everyone. For boys and men, seeing men in a variety of professions and positions sends the message that nothing is out of reach. For those that don’t see themselves represented, occupying positions of power or influence is less accessible. Come for a discussion on the realities and implications of gender representation in today’s society.
October 25 (6 - 8pm)
December 6 (6 - 8pm)

Please RSVP to up to 1 week prior to the discussion you want to attend. All workshops will take place at the CCASA Office. Suite 700, 910 7th Ave SW, Calgary AB
CCASA is very excited to be presenting the following Free Educational Workshops.
Anyone is welcome to attend these sessions! If you have these conversations on a regular basis, if you’ve always wanted to talk about these things but never felt there was a space to do so, or if you’re interested in the topic, you are more than welcome to attend.
Finally People Are Talking - November 27 (6pm - 9pm)
This three-hour workshop introduces primary caregivers of children to the topic of safety and education regarding Child Sexual Abuse. The workshop examines the underpinnings for why CSA continues to exist in our society and explores the ways in which primary caregivers—like parents and guardians—can educate the children in their lives. Through the use of conversations that utilize child-appropriate language, this workshop offers attendees the skills to have these sensitive conversations and also offers them the tools and resources needed to offer a vital first response of belief and support should they encounter a disclosure of CSA. The workshop offers a safe and constructive environment in which to ask questions and have a candid discussion and is ideal for caregivers to children in the Kindergarten-Grade 6 developmental range.
Rethinking Prevention – December 5 (9am - 12pm)
This three-hour workshop will focus on exploring the reasons why sexual violence continues to be so prevalent in our communities while also unpacking popular, yet ineffective, sexual violence prevention strategies. Participants will discuss the impact of these prevention strategies and the resulting barriers that make it difficult for those who have experienced sexual violence to receive support. While deconstructing many of the misconceptions that distract us from focusing on the root causes of violence, participants will have the opportunity to consider the significant ways in which all people can work towards the prevention of sexual violence.
Please RSVP to up to 1 week prior to the discussion you want to attend. All workshops will take place at the CCASA Office. Suite 700, 910 7th Ave SW, Calgary AB
If you are interested in receiving information about upcoming training, please let us know at
To take action and build community capacity to address family violence, Lethbridge Family Services Counselling, Outreach and Education (COE) Department is pleased to host the Orange Conference on November 20 -21, 2017 in Lethbridge, AB.This 2-day conference will enhance your knowledge and skill set, and inspire you to excel in your work.

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, managed by UN Women, has proclaimed every 25th of the month as “Orange Day” – a day to take action to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls. Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls and the Orange Conference will specifically recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th. 

Reserve your spot and register today.
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