Welcome to the first monthly E-News Flash from the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS).
It is our goal to keep individuals, organizations, agencies/services and government informed on what AASAS is doing to raise awareness of issues involving sexual abuse and sexual assault while striving to ensure that all Albertans have access to healing and recovery programs, services and supports.
As a provincial umbrella organization that provides leadership, coordination and a unified voice on issues of sexual assault and sexual abuse while increasing recognition, support for and access to sexual assault services in Alberta, we are pleased to share with you some of the initiatives AASAS has been involved in:
AASAS is currently finalizing our strategic plan for 2014-2017 which outlines our collective vision, mission, goals, strategies and actions for the upcoming three year period. AASAS has four goals outlined in our strategic plan:
- Ensure the inclusion of sexual assault and sexual abuse in government policy and legislative frameworks
- Ensure that all Albertans have access to safe, effective, coordinated and identifiable services
- Ensure standards of excellence in service delivery
- Elevate awareness and understanding of the issues of sexual assault and sexual abuse
AASAS is also developing a provincial Sexual Violence Action Plan. Addressing sexual violence requires planned, strategic, and coordinated solutions. This plan is a result of almost forty years of front line experience, engagement, commitment, persistence and passion in addressing sexual violence in Alberta. Working alongside Government social policy, the AASAS Sexual Violence Action Plan will support the realization of our joint vision of an Alberta free from sexual violence.
AASAS Member Agency Initiatives:
Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA), Canadian Sikh Network and Punjabi Community Health Services are working together to break the silence around child sexual abuse and sexual assault in the Indo-Canadian community in Calgary. Working collaboratively, all have identified best practices while addressing cultural sensitivity and practices specific to the community. The first initiative is the launch of a child sexual abuse awareness poster campaign in both English and Punjabi languages.
The project is aimed at reducing the stigma of child sexual abuse so that victims and their families seek the resources, support and justice that they need. These new resources also provide information about the short and long term effects of abuse on individuals, families and communities.
To view the posters and learn more about this initiative, please link to http://www.calgarycasa.com/building-capacity-through-partnerships-initiative/ (link will open in a new window).
Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE) with the media production expertise and time donated by Pollyanna Hardwicke-Brown of Gruvpix, is very proud to showcase and share the video "Speak up...Someone will Listen".
This powerful video captures the stories of survivors and their healing journeys, as too often, survivors of sexual violence are silenced. This video demonstrates that, for each traumatic story belonging to a victim of sexual violence, there is also an opportunity for another story: one of a survivor, one of resilience, one of hope. It is critical to take away that it is up to individuals, organizations, governments, businesses and above all community members, to hear and listen to these stories and to let survivors know that they are believed and supported. To view the video please link to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFq_b59bZ7w&app=desktop (link will open in a new window).
Sexual Assault Response Committee (SARC) and the Medicine Hat Women's Shelter Society (MHWSS) worked collaboratively to join the global campaign One Billion Rising to stop violence against women, men and children. SARC and MHWSS created a social media awareness raising and commitment campaign asking individuals, community and organizations to tweet or Facebook their photos of why they were rising against violence on February 14, 2014.
To view the photos that were created from this event, please visit the link http://www.calgarycasa.com/2014/03/sarc-one-billion-rising-social-media-initiative-slideshow/ (link will open in a new window).
***To find out more about AASAS member agencies/services or to link directly to their websites, please visit the AASAS website member link at http://www.aasas.ca/index.php/main/page/aasas-member-agencies-2013-10-09-10-10-26
Please forward this to anyone you think would benefit from learning about what the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services and its member agencies/services are doing to bring awareness of the issue of sexual violence in their communities and what they are doing to create an Alberta free from sexual abuse and sexual assault.