July 2017
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Alberta Initiatives

AASAS Sexual Violence Action Plan Launched

The Alberta Sexual Violence Action Plan was presented to the provincial government in May. 

Developed by AASAS with the input and expertise from member agencies, it is a road map for government and policy makers, based on front-line experience and research.

There are four strategic priorities in the Sexual Violence Action Plan:
  • Strong leadership and accountability
  • Effective prevention strategies
  • Effective outread stragegies
  • Enhanced intervention.
Sexual violence is a complex issue with no easy solutions, but we are confident in the commitment of Albertans and that together we can end sexual violence in our communities.
Saskatchewan Train the Facilitator
AASAS went to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to complete the first ever out-of-province week-long Train the Facilitator. Twenty-one new individuals were trained to facilitate the two-day First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training.

It was a huge success with positive feedback from the participants.

These 21 new facilitators are part of the Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan provincial network. They work in the field of sexual violence (some for over 40 years!) and are looking forward to delivering the training throughout the province.
RCMP Subject Matter Expert Meeting

AASAS CEO, Deb Tomlinson, and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Corinne Ofstie, recently attended the RCMP's Phase 1 Subject Matter Expert Meeting on Sexual Assault.

The input they provided will directly impact updates to the RCMP policy, training and quality of investigations in relation to sexual violence and child protection, both nationally and within Alberta. 

In the News

Sexual Assault Victim Jailed While Testifying

"This was the farthest thing from victim support that I've ever seen." was the quote from AASAS CEO Deb Tomlinson.

Justice Eric Macklin stated, "Her treatment by the Justice System was appalling."

Sexual assault support workers, and Albertans in general, were shocked to hear that a victim was not only jailed, but also transported to and from court in the same cramped van as her attacker. 

As a result of this incident Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Granley has formed a special committee to look at the case to review policies, with an eye to making what she calls "aggressive changes."
Calgary Police Adopt Philadelphia Model

The Calgary Police Service (CPS), in response to the Globe and Mail's investigative series Unfounded, announced they are forming a committee to review sexual assault cases that investigators have closed as unfounded. 

Representatives from five different independent agencies, including AASAS member Calgary Communities Again Sexual Abuse Executive Director Danielle Aubry, will meet with police three times per year to review all new unfounded sexual assault cases, which is an approach first used 17 years ago in Philadelphia. 

“At CCASA we know that the rate of unfounded cases has needed to be addressed across the country for a long time and we are very hopeful that this committee will be able to effectively address it in our city. In addition, we are pleased that the Calgary Police Service has taken a leadership role in recognizing the importance of this issue and is willing to open up their processes to a committee of external community partners.”

- Danielle Aubry, CEO Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA)

National Gender-Based Violence Plan Launched

The federal government released It's Time: Canada's Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.

It builds on current federal initiatives, coordinates existing programs and lays the foundation for greater action on gender-based violence.

The Strategy is based on three pillars:

  • Prevention;
  • Support for survivors and their families; and
  • Promotion of responsive legal and justice systems.

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:
July 13-14 University of Alberta (FULL)
July 26-27 Calgary (FULL)
July 27-28 University of Alberta (FULL)

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

The Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS) is thrilled to announce an upcoming Counselling Adult Survivors of Sexual Violence Course, taking place in an online classroom from September 14 – December 7, 2017. 
What will Students Learn?
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.
Who Is This Course For?:
This 12 week online integrative course is designed for counselors, therapists, and other mental health practitioners who may wish to work with survivors of sexual violence, or who may be already working with survivors and would like to more deeply inform their counselling practice. Registrants must have, at a minimum, a bachelors level education in a social or health services discipline and/or are registered/licensed with a professional association that maintains a code of ethics and standards of practice that provide parameters for the registrant’s scope of practice. Special considerations may be accommodated on a case by case basis.
Participant Feedback about the Course:
  • “I really enjoyed every part of this course… I felt my instructors were very informative and presented the course great”
  • “I very much appreciated how comprehensive this course was”
  • “I feel I learned things about myself and am aware of it now”
For more information and to register, click on the poster below. 

Member Agency Events & Updates

Third Option Reporting and SART in South Zone

The Sexual Assault Response Committee (SARC) in Medicine Hat has teamed up with the Medicine Hat Police Service and Alberta Health Services to form the Sexual Assault Response Team, providing medical care and sexual assault examinations to people, 14 years of age and older, within 96 hours of the assault.

SART will assist when a patient requests that forensic samples be collected, which could assist in a police investigation if the individual decides to report the assault to city police or RCMP.

Victims seeking treatment at emergency departments can now decide whether they want medical care only, care and immediate reporting to police, or medical care with anonymous evidence collection while the individual decides whether to report the incident to police.

The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre will be a part of the Westerner Days Parade in Red Deer at 9:30 am on July 19th!

For Canada's 150th Birthday we will be showcasing 150 Ways I Respect at the parade. This goes along with our I Respect Campaign and will mainly be on social media using the hashtag #150waysiRespect until the day of the Parade. We are encouraging our followers to join our event page on Facebook and tell us what they respect so we can showcase their ideas on the 19th and promote a respect culture in Central Alberta. Other platforms they can mention us on and share their respect are:
Facebook: @ CASASCRD
Twitter: @CASASC2
Instagram: @CASASC3 and @irespectcampaign
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