July 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to SSAIC’s July 2022 Newsletter. Once a month, we bring you news, updates, skills, and opportunities relating to the world of sexualized violence. As subscribers, you won’t miss a beat about what’s happening at SSAIC.

SSAIC acknowledges that we work and live on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We commit to working towards reconciliation and affirm our relationship with one another.

We appreciate the cooperation our clients have consistently displayed as we have worked through interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to move toward a full reopening, we are taking new clients and would encourage those who need our assistance to call our office at 306-244-2294 during office hours (M-F 9 AM-12 PM / 1 PM-5 PM) and speak to one of our counsellors. Our 24-hour crisis line is always available to assist anyone who needs our help.

What’s New at SSAIC

Thank-You, and Farewell!

We would like to extend our deepest heartfelt thanks to Ev Burnett, co-chair of our board of directors, for her 7 years of service to our agency.

Ev joined us at SSAIC in 2015, bringing years of experience as an Educator, Administrator, and Gender Equity Consultant, as well as previous work with various community boards and committees.

Ev is incredibly passionate about working to address sexualized violence in our community through education. She advocated strongly for the creation and delivery of school-based education for children and youth on topics such as healthy relationships, violence, and consent. We are so glad she has had the opportunity to see the results of these efforts through our development and pilot delivery of our new Grade 8 educational program “No is a Full Sentence”.

We owe her a great depth of gratitude and will miss her greatly. Thank you so much, Ev, for your service to us and your commitment to survivors and our community!    

Queer Survivors Group Pilot Survey

We are so very close to offering our first support group for queer survivors this fall, but we would love your input…

Follow this link to complete our Queer Survivors Group Pilot form to let us know your thoughts! (Please share widely with your circles.)

International Non-Binary People’s Day

July 14th is recognized around the world as International Non-Binary People’s Day, an occasion to shine a light on folks who identify as non-binary and celebrate the rich diversity of the community.

“Non-binary” is a term that describes someone whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with “man” or “woman”. Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely.

Non-binary people can feel that their gender identity and gender experience involves being both a man and a woman, or that it is fluid, in between, or completely outside of that binary.

There are many ways to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of their gender identity. Our language and the way we speak is often embedded with hidden gendered cues. Once we start to notice them, we can move towards using language that’s inclusive for all. Here are 10 tips you can start using right away! (from stonewall.org.uk)

  • Introduce yourself with your name and pronouns. Stating your pronouns reminds people that it might not always be immediately obvious what pronouns someone uses
  • Put your pronouns in your email signature or social media profile
  • Instead of addressing groups of people with binary language such as ladies and gentlemen, try more inclusive alternatives such as folks, friends, or everyone
  • Use words that define the relationship instead of the relationship and gender. For example, use parents, partner, children, or siblings
  • Not everyone is comfortable with gendered titles such as Ms or Mr. Titles are not always necessary, but if they must be used it’s good to provide alternatives such as Mx (pronounced mix or mux)
  • Use the singular their instead of his/her in letters and other forms of writing
  • Not everyone necessarily uses he or she pronouns and it’s important to be respectful of people who use different pronouns. The most common gender-neutral pronoun is the singular they (they/them/theirs). Using people’s correct pronouns shows that you respect them and who they are

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

July 30th is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and this year’s theme focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking.

For more information, visit the United Nations website.

Learning & Entertainment

Supporting Survivors of Sexualized Violence Training

Supporting Survivors of Sexualized Violence Training (SST) is an interactive virtual training program created by SSAIC, designed to train anyone and everyone to receive disclosures and support survivors in a compassionate and trauma-informed way.

Join us for an upcoming session of SST to learn tangible skills for supporting someone who discloses sexualized violence, as well as the impacts of rape culture and our own unconscious biases.

*Only 3 remaining training dates in 2022!

Click on any of the following links to register yourself for SST:

Full-Day Training:

September 7th, 2022 (9am – 4pm)

December 8th, 2022 (9am – 4pm)

Half-Day Training:

October 25th, 2022 (1:30pm – 4:30pm)

Educational Presentations Available

SSAIC’s Education Team has many presentations available to the public on a variety of topics related to sexualized violence. Our presentations are a good fit for client groups, staff in-services, professional development opportunities, and post-secondary students. Any of the following are available upon request:

  • Understanding Sexualized Violence: Our 101 Course
  • Consent 101
  • Child Sexual Abuse Information Seminar
  • Being a Strong Ally to Survivors
  • Exploring the Impacts of Sexualized Violence
  • SSAIC’s Services
  • Deconstructing Rape Culture
  • Demystifying the Reporting Process of Sexualized Violence

Contact us at info@ssaic.ca to inquire about a presentation for your group!
(Limited capacity available.)

Sexualized Violence in the News

Supreme Court says expanded rape shield laws are constitutional, CBC News

“A person accused in a sexual assault trial does not have the right to ambush their accuser with private records like medical files or personal journals in a bid to discredit them, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday, as it upheld expanded rape shield laws passed by the federal government in 2018.

The decision relates to verdicts by appeals courts from two separate sexual assault cases — one in British Columbia and one in Ontario — both of which had said the changes made to rape shield laws four years ago affected an accused’s right to a fair trial.

In the top court’s 6-3 decision, a majority of justices disagreed, overturned those decisions and upheld the 2018 legislative changes to the Criminal Code as ‘constitutional in their entirety.’

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees an accused a right to a fair trial, including that they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. It does not, the majority ruling says, ‘guarantee the most favourable procedures imaginable for the accused.'” Read more

‘Important for us to speak out’: Judge allows release of alleged Sask. group home sexual assault victim’s name, CTV News

“With his arm wrapped around his brother, sitting at a table in their home, Rick Boguski explains why they asked a judge to lift a court-ordered publication ban — a routine measure in Canada, intended to protect alleged victims of sexual assault.

‘It’s really important for us to speak out and let people know that this is not a victimless crime,’ he said, speaking to CTV News from his home in Alberta by Zoom. Rick’s 62-year-old brother, Darryl Boguski, lives with blindness, autism, cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy. He is only able to speak in single words.

‘I think that perhaps people seeing Darryl and seeing just how vulnerable he is, (they) will appreciate the horror of this story,’ Rick said. Darryl resided at the Shepherd’s Villa group home in Hepburn, Sask. for roughly 25 years. A former employee, Brent Gabona, 52, faces five counts of sexual assault and three counts of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability for incidents alleged to have occurred at the home. He was arrested and charged in May.

Police believe the assaults took place between 1992 and 2009. Darryl is one of Gabona’s five alleged victims. The fact that Gabona has been allowed to return to the community as his case progresses through the courts is a source of frustration for Rick, a former journalist who is familiar with Canada’s legal landscape.

‘We want to see changes to the laws specifically targeting the sexual assault of vulnerable individuals in this country,’ Rick said, suggesting more severe consequences such as mandatory minimum penalties and providing no option for an accused to seek a plea agreement with the Crown.” Read more

30 years in prison for sex trafficking, racketeering, CBC News

“R&B star R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his superstardom to subject young fans — some whom were just children — to systematic sexual abuse. The singer and songwriter, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking last year at a trial that gave voice to accusers who had once wondered if their stories were being ignored because they were Black women.

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly imposed the sentence after hearing from several survivors who attested to how Kelly’s exploitation reverberated across their lives. The sentence caps a slow-motion fall for Kelly, who was adored by legions of fans and sold millions of albums even after allegations about his abuse of young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, used his ‘fame, money and popularity’ to systematically ‘prey upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification,’ prosecutors wrote in a court filing earlier this month.” Read more

Ways to Give to SSAIC

Looking for ways to give to SSAIC? Click any of the options below to get started!

  • Becoming a recurring donor. This is the most helpful kind of donation we can receive, as it helps us consistently plan for the future with reliable donations monthly or annually. All donations are greatly appreciated.
  • Bring your recyclables to SARCAN. By using the code “I believe you” at the Drop-n-Go stations or at the register, you can donate your recycling funds straight to SSAIC and protect the environment all at once!
  • Shop our survivor-themed merchandise. Our online store is stocked with survivor phrase t-shirts, sweatshirts, and mugs – order yours straight to your door, or come by our office downtown for contactless pickup.
  • Fundraise on our behalf. COVID-19 has impacted us all, and SSAIC is relying on our community supporters now more than ever. If you’re interested in raising money on our behalf, get in contact with our office to discuss opportunities!

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