The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) is located in Red Deer Alberta and assists children and adolescents from ages 3 to 17 with their experience with sexual abuse. CASASC has one child therapist and one child counselor whose main focus is assisting youth who have been exposed to sexual abuse. A play therapy room has recently been built to increase the assistance with a survivors healing. CASASA has experienced Educators who travel to different schools within their coverage area and speak to youth from Kindergarten to grade 12 as well as college students about inappropriate touch, sexual assault and healthy relationships (all topics are age appropriate for the audience). In 2015, CASASC reached over 13,000 people with their presentations. After class presentations, numerous young people have confided to the educators that they have been victims of sexual abuse. Those students have since attended the CASASC center to receive assistance with this sensitive issue. These individuals are doing extremely well and living happy, productive lives.
The child and adolescent services also includes: Play therapy, Court Prep, Court Orientation, and Court Accompaniment. Additionally, CASASC has an amazing Campaign called #iRespect that is heavily promoted to younger generations. In the past, bracelets were given out to school children with the campaign on it as well as their 24 hour sexual assault crisis line. Currently, pencils and stickers are handed out to bring awareness to this powerful campaign and the 24 hour sexual assault crisis line.
Children and adolescents can be referred to CASASA by means of many forms of referrals including: Self-referrals, schools, Child and Family Services, doctors, Crowns Office, RCMP, Hospital, Victims Services, and other agency referrals. All services are free of charge.
The therapists and counsellors provide approximately 1hr sessions which are available 5 days a week. Within these sessions, many different approaches are offered, such as Play Therapy, Solution Focus Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and EMDR. Counselling can also be provided to those supporting the child through this healing journey.
The programs that CASASA offers leads to a definite reduction of trauma symptoms, enhanced school performance, positive development in social and family relationships, and enriched self-esteem. Their goal is to help the kids become healthy community members while utilizing these services, and maintain these improvements well into the future, for the rest of their lives.
While receiving services, this is what one 12 year old boy drew on paper; “Thank you for helping me, my sister, and my mom.” A 6 year old girl stated, “You help me feel happier,” and a 10 year old boy said, “By coming here I felt brave to now tell the police.” The touching sentiments from these children are reinforcement of how important these services are for children to receive after they have been affected by sexual abuse. The services that CASASA are offering are an essential component for healing journeys to thrive.
For more information and to contact:
Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre
24-hour Line: 1-866-956-1099
P: (403) 340-1124
F: (403) 340-1163