June 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to SSAIC’s June 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

Indigenous History Month

June is National Indigenous History Month when we, as a nation, recognize and honour the unique histories, cultures, sacrifices, strengths, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. Learning about our shared history is an important step toward reconciliation.

SSAIC’s staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers acknowledge the past and present genocide and racism committed against Indigenous Peoples.

Happy Pride Month!

Pride Month is an annual celebration of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community that takes place each June. This year, the Saskatoon Pride Parade made its in-person comeback on Saturday, June 18th.

2SLGBTQIA+ folks experience disproportionate rates of sexualized violence. In Canada, individuals who identify as homosexual or bisexual have a rate of sexual assault 6X higher than those who identify as heterosexual (Statistics Canada). In 2015, the US Transgender Survey found that 47% of transgender people experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

We celebrate and support Two-Spirit, queer, lesbian, gay, trans, bi, intersex, asexual, and the many other ways individuals express their gender and sexuality outside of heteronormativity and the gender binary. We are committed to ongoing learning (and unlearning) about how to be as safe a space as possible for all survivors of sexualized violence.

Trauma-Informed Virtual Yoga

We are SO happy to be bringing this one back! Have you registered yet?

Join certified yoga teacher Steph Locke for four weeks of mindful connection between the mind and body from the comfort of your own home.

*Available to survivors of sexualized violence*

No previous yoga experience is required; we’ll guide you through everything you need to know. Spread the word; you never know who may benefit from this program!

Give us a call at 306-244-2294 to register.

Farewell, Faye…

Faye has been a tremendous leader since she began with SSAIC seven years ago. Her focus has always been to ensure that our client services were provided at the highest level possible.

During her time at SSAIC, Faye has navigated the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements which brought new attention to sexualized violence and increased client service requests. She worked to improve the effectiveness of our planning and internal operating structures. She developed a new Human Resource program, a Donor Recognition and Retention program, worked with staff to develop a Communication Plan, revamped the website, and reorganized the staff to maximize the level of direct client support within the funds available.

Faye has strengthened our connections with other community agencies, including the Saskatoon Police Service. To round out her career, Faye has left the agency with Violence Against Women Advocate Case Review (VACR) and our new school-based educational program “No is a Full Sentence”, both of which launched this spring.

We are incredibly grateful for all that Faye has done for the organization. Among many other things, we will miss her strength, her humour, her kindness, her amazing leadership, and the passion she brought to work every single day.

We are so thankful for Faye’s relentless dedication to this work and our agency, and for being such a strong advocate for survivors of sexualized violence. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement and the many adventures we know lie ahead.

…and welcome Reagan!

Our search for a new Executive Director has been completed and we are so happy to introduce our new ED!

Reagan has an extensive not-for-profit background, most recently in the position of Program Manager at Quint Development where she supported residents, managed staff, and looked after the daily operations of two transition
homes. Reagan began her career as a counsellor with Meewasinota CRF Ltd where she worked with Parole Officers and supported residents. Reagan also worked as a coordinator at the Youth Wellness Centre, a Street Outreach Worker with SHR, Addictions Counselor for Alberta Health Services, and a Program Manager at the Oak Hill Boys Ranch.

Reagan has a BA in Women and Gender studies with a minor in Native Studies. She is looking forward to being able to align her education with her work and finally return to her first passion, gender equity. She is very excited to work with the team at SSAIC to address gender-based violence in our community.

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)

Summer Learning Workshop Series

We all know self-care is important, but do you know all the different ways to take care of yourself?

Our Summer Learning Workshop Series kicked off on June 8th and returns on Thursday, July 7th with Session 2: Back to Baseline: Beyond Self-Care, presented by our friend Jessica Fox from the University of Saskatchewan. As the Student Support and Outreach Worker through Student Affairs & Outreach, Jessica is an expert at going beyond the basic self-care advice we always get and helping us dig a bit deeper into what self-care truly is and how it looks for trauma survivors.

Find all the details and registration information at ssaic.ca/SLWS.

(Remember, all of our Online Workshops are recorded for you to watch later, so make sure you register to receive the recording to your inbox!)

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.)

A Repeal of Roe v. Wade: Understanding the Potential Impacts

In this article published by the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the impacts of removing the country-wide right to access to safe abortions (specifically to survivors of sexualized violence in America) are discussed.

“With access to safe, medical grade abortions under threat, the through line connecting many of these pieces is that the matter boils down to an issue of control over women’s bodies and bodily autonomy. But to what end? What are the longer-term societal ramifications of denying women access to safe abortions? Let us begin by considering which women would be most adversely affected by the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. The answer is almost categorically Black and Brown women.” Read more…

*Please note: this article was written before Roe v. Wade was officially overturned on June 24th, 2022. The information regarding the impacts are now all the more harrowing.

SSAIC Staff Recommends

Jackson Katz: Violence against women – it’s a men’s issue (TEDTalk)

Gender-based violence is often framed as a women’s issue, when, really, it is neither an exclusively women’s nor exclusively men’s issue. All of us are affected by it and each of us is responsible for ending it.

If we can understand that a man may commit acts of violence against women because of a sense of privilege and entitlement over her due to growing up in rape culture, we have to believe this entitlement can be unlearned. We need more men to take part in conversations about gender inequality and gender-based violence, and these efforts must start early so that boys grow up with healthier models of masculinity.

One of the powerful male voices engaged in this work is Jackson Katz. In this dynamic and energetic TED Talk, he calls for men and boys to get involved with the work to address and end gender-based violence. When I first came across this talk a few years ago, I remember feeling so inspired and wishing everyone would see it. Check it out here if you haven’t seen it yet, and share it with your friends if you feel so inclined! -Jen

Bruce D. Perry & Oprah Winfrey: What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing (Book)

This book has been such an interesting combination of psycho-education and intimate conversations about their personal and professional experiences. From children to adults, extreme neglect to sexualized violence, the two authors discuss a variety of traumatic experiences to illustrate both the impacts of trauma as well as the pieces that heal trauma. It’s been a really beautiful read and wonderful insight into the mind of a trauma psychologist. -Morgan

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness (Netflix Series)

Jonathan has come out as HIV positive and a survivor of sexual assault. Their show covers a broad spectrum of topics, but I especially appreciated the episode about gender, “Can We Say Bye-Bye to the Binary?” Gender diversity can intersect in lots of ways with being a survivor, as we have traditionally thought of sexual assault survivors being cishet women (both cisgender and heterosexual), which is often not the case.

Jonathan’s Netflix series and their books Over the Top: My Story and Love That Story: Observations from a Gorgeously Queer Life are all important contributions to visibility and representation. They speak openly about the difficult moments in their life, such as surviving sexual abuse, addiction, and being diagnosed with HIV, but also speak to joy, positivity, and healing.

His website states “If Jonathan has learned anything from these experiences, it’s that in order to thrive, he had to push past the shame and fear of being his true self. To embark on that journey, he had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” This is such an important message for anyone who is struggling, and especially true for survivors. -Sarah

Sexualized Violence in the News

Hockey Canada’s handling of sexual assault allegations ‘unacceptable,’ says Trudeau, Global News

“Hockey Canada‘s handling of sexual assault allegations against multiple players on the 2018 national junior team is ‘unacceptable’ — and ‘all options’ are on the table to get to the bottom of what happened, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

TSN reported last month that the national hockey organization has settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged eight members of the 2018 World Juniors championship team sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in London, Ont., following a gala celebrating the team’s gold-medal win that year.

Federal officials have launched a financial audit of Hockey Canada to determine whether any taxpayer dollars were used in that settlement.” Read more…

Accused in Amanda Todd cyberbullying case alleged to have used 22 accounts to sextort teen, CBC News

“B.C. teen Amanda Todd died by suicide in October 2012 when she was 15 years old. A trial has begun in New Westminster for the Dutch man accused of sextorting her through a series of phony social media accounts.

This is an example of a message to Amanda Todd that arrived through YouTube in April 2011. The name of the sender was new, but the language and threats were familiar: ‘I am back … Miss me? … How is your new school? … I have a new flash video of you.’

Todd, who would have been 14 years old at the time, was offered two choices. ‘Pick. Door one — you do five shows for me, 30 minutes each and then I disappear forever,’ the message continued. ‘Door two — I f–k up your life at this new school just like last time. One week to decide.’

The messages allegedly followed the teen through the internet as she moved from school to school between 2009 and 2012.

Aydin Coban, 43, is charged with possession of child pornography [preferred term is child sexual abuse imagery], extortion, child luring and harassment of Todd, who became a public face in the fight against cyberbullying after her death by suicide in October 2012.” Read more… 

Another complaint filed against Sask. judge who ruled on sexual assault case, CBC News

“Two of the five women who testified against a former Regina doctor have filed complaints to the Canadian Judicial Council regarding Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Brian Scherman’s decision to acquit Dr. Sylvester Ukabam of seven counts of sexual assault alleged to have happened between 2010 and 2017.

​In her complaint, one woman who accused Dr. Ukabam of touching them inappropriately during medical exams noted that the former doctor’s lawyer argued that the victims confused rectal penetration with vaginal penetration. The judge indicated in his written decision that the women were mistaken about what they felt happened. 

The woman stated, ‘I believe it is outrageous that Judge Scherman made the assumption that women are incapable of telling the difference between their vagina and rectum being touched.’ ​She also wrote that the judge found her testimony unreliable and referred to her ‘panicked’ state during the alleged assault.

She said the judge ‘still buys into the outdated belief that women are too emotional and irrational to be believed,’ and that given his rationale, she wondered ‘if his decisions are based on outdated, sexist and misogynist personal beliefs.'” 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!