With increased media attention and high profile cases, more people are coming forward with their own, personal stories of sexual violence. Would you know what to do if someone told you they were the victim of sexual abuse or assault? Would you know how to react appropriately, what their options are, or the appropriate community agencies for referral?

Many professionals in the health and mental healthcare fields are likely to be the first person a survivor shares their story with—and that first interaction can make or break the survivor’s decision to move forward with a rape kit at the hospital, getting mental health support, or police reporting.

It’s no small thing being trusted with someone’s story of sexual abuse, so we know you want to be prepared.

The Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre (SSAIC) is excited to offer a 2-day intensive course called First Responder to Sexual Assault Training™. The course content was developed and trademarked by the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS), and SSAIC has two accredited facilitators who can offer this training in our home community of Saskatoon.

The First Responder to Sexual Assault model draws from the idea of first aid. The job of the first responder to sexual assault is not to know all the answers, or to counsel the victim, but rather to provide psychological first aid. The goal here is to empower the person who shares this painful information to decide on their own plan with help from professionals (a counsellor, a doctor, or the police).

Just as civilians are trained to handle emergency medical situations, we can train people how to respond to a disclosure of sexual assault so that the victim feels believed and supported. Individuals who complete the First Responder to Sexual Assault Training will leave with the necessary background knowledge of sexual violence in various forms (childhood sexual abuse, barriers to disclosure, communication techniques, and community referrals) so that they are prepared to connect with the victim in the very short term and help them determine how they want to move forward.

The First Responder to Sexual Assault Training will be offered for the first time November 29 and 30, 2017 at the Saskatoon Community Service Village. There are only 12 spots, but we will create a waiting list for when the training is offered again in March and those on the list will be offered first right of refusal.


What: First Responder to Sexual Assault Training

When: November 29 and 30, 2017

Time: 8:30am – 5pm (two full-day sessions)

Where: Saskatoon Community Service Village (506 25 Street East)

Cost: $125; meals and training materials provided

Registration: Please call Megan Evans at 306-244-2294 or email communications.ssaic@sasktel.net

Registration deadline: Wednesday, November 22 at 12pm


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