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
Violence Against Women Advocate Case Review
In partnership with the Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre (SSAIC) and the Improving Institutional Accountability Project (IIAP), the Saskatoon Police Service has launched a new process called the Violence Against Women Advocate Case Review (VACR), a uniquely Canadian iteration built from the core elements of what is known as ‘The Philadelphia Model’.
Sexual assaults make up a large portion of the criminal offences in Saskatoon. There were 408 reports in 2020, and 453 in 2021. This is indicative of an upwards trend over the last five years, creating an opportunity to re-evaluate these types of investigations in order to develop and strengthen relationships and improve investigative outcomes.
Through the VACR process, the SPS will provide all information pertaining to a file to create a richer and more accurate picture with respect to trauma-informed investigations. This ensures a reviewer has access to all pertinent details from which to make recommendations and provide feedback.
The VACR reviewers first met in April and will meet quarterly to review files.
Supreme Court of Canada Decision
We wanted to provide a comment on the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in which the Court struck down Section 33.1 of the Criminal Code which stated that accused persons were not allowed to use the defence of self-induced extreme intoxication to avoid criminal responsibility for certain violent offences, including sexual assault. Understandably so, this decision has caused many survivors to question reporting, and we hope this information will shed some light.
The Women’s Legal and Education Action Fund (LEAF) is a well-established national charitable organization that works toward ensuring the law guarantees substantive equality for all women, girls, trans, and non-binary people. LEAF had intervened in the cases being appealed to advocate for the equality rights of survivors of sexual and physical violence.
They have released a statement indicating that the Supreme Court of Canada decision is very limited in its application. The Court clearly stated in its decision that drunkenness without automatism (action without the ability to have any conscious thought or intention) cannot be used as a defence in sexual assault cases.
What remains to be seen is whether justice system participants will attempt to use this decision to widen the interpretation of “extreme drunkenness”, bringing us back to the days when the accused could successfully argue that they were so drunk they could not be responsible for their perpetration of a sexual assault. We must be vigilant in our insistence that voluntary intoxication can never be used as an excuse for sexually violating another person, while being drunk as a victim is used to blame and shame survivors “because they should have known better”.
Sexual Violence Awareness Week
For Sexual Violence Awareness Week (May 16th-20th), SSAIC teamed up with Regina & Area Sexual Assault Centre and Battlefords & Area Sexual Assault Centre to release a campaign called #ChooseToSee. Our campaign highlighted the often unnoticed daily reality of people who fear or have experienced sexualized violence, contrasting with those who are not hypervigilant about this type of violence.
Women* use various protection tactics almost instinctually, unbeknownst to many people who do not fear sexualized violence. Creating violence-free communities is everyone’s responsibility and should not lie only with those who are most at risk.
Sexualized violence impacts us all in one way or another, and we challenge each person to #ChooseToSee the far-reaching effects of violence, and decide to make it your responsibility to be a part of the solution.
*While we refer to women throughout this campaign, as they represent the largest group of survivors of sexualized violence, we acknowledge that anyone can experience sexualized violence, and that particularly queer folx, folks with varying abilities, and BIPOC folks are at a greater risk. We see you, we believe you, and this campaign is for you.
View our #ChooseToSee campaign video here!
“I’m the Boss of Me” 2022 Snapshot
We’d just like to share our fun Infographic Snapshot of the 2022 ITBOM season with you!
If you’d like to join the dream team next year and make a difference in our community, check out SSAIC.ca/ITBOM!
“No Is A Full Sentence” Pilot
Next week, we will complete the pilot of our new Grade 8 sexualized violence education program, “No Is A Full Sentence” (NIAFS). We would like to thank Saskatoon Public Schools and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools for their partnership and support of this program.
We would also like to express our gratitude and appreciation for the students, teachers, and other school staff who have so thoughtfully and generously participated in this pilot process. We deeply value your engagement and feedback.
NIAFS focuses on themes of healthy relationships, boundaries, and consent. We can’t wait to bring this to the larger community in the near future.
Learning & Entertainment
Supporting Survivors of Sexualized Violence Training
Supporting Survivors of Sexualized Violence Training (SST) is an interactive 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:
Summer Learning Workshop Series
Our Summer Learning Workshop Series is live! Session 1 will be “Understanding Sexualized Violence: Our ‘101’ Course” on June 8th. This is our holy grail presentation that’ll give you a little taste of foundational info, consent, r*pe culture, reporting, and supporting survivors.
Session 2 is “Back to Baseline: Beyond Self-Care” presented by our friend Jessica Fox from the University of Saskatchewan on July 7th. 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
(Psst…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 email@example.com to inquire about a presentation for your group!
(Limited capacity available.)
SSAIC Staff Recommends
The Wisdom of Trauma Featuring Dr. Gabor Maté (Film) -Ashley
Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love, and the way we make sense of the world. It is the root of our deepest wounds.
Dr. Maté gives us a new vision: a trauma-informed society in which parents, teachers, physicians, policy-makers and legal personnel are not concerned with fixing behaviours, making diagnoses, suppressing symptoms, and judging, but seek instead to understand the sources from which troubling behaviours and diseases spring in the wounded human soul.
Human Rights Watch Canada Film Festival (Free Online), May 30th-June 2nd (Film Festival) -Jen
The 19th annual HRWFF will present free screenings, both in-person and online, of films that explore human rights battles in Canada and elsewhere.
The film festival will chronicle real-life accounts of ongoing struggles around issues such as the protection of Indigenous lands; the expansive migrant experience; 2SLGBTQ pride; generational effects of the Holocaust; and justice for survivors of sexual violence.
@theidentityofshe (Instagram) -Ashton
The Identity Of She is a self-love organization dedicated to empowering women (and men) to be free in their identity by ensuring that every race, ethnicity, culture, shape, size, gender, and sexuality feels free in who they are.
The Identity of She is a clothing brand, Instagram page, and website that includes mental health resources, an open forum blog, self-love quizzes, and calendars, all to make you feel good.
When scrolling through the page or their website you really can’t help but find something to relate with and smile. All the feel-goods.
Sexualized Violence in the News
Sexual violence: 100 festivals commit to tackling the issue, BBC News
“More than 100 UK festivals – including Parklife and Boardmasters – have committed to tackling sexual violence. The festivals have pledged to take a survivor-led approach and that all allegations will be taken seriously.
Dr Hannah Bows from Durham University said research has shown sexual violence is a ‘common experience for festival attendees – especially for women’ and is ‘often minimised or ignored’. The criminal law professor said the move was an ‘important first step’.
Kelly Bennaton from Rape Crisis England and Wales said, ‘Festival goers deserve to know that if they report sexual assault they will be listened to and believed.'” Read more…
Stats Can says two-thirds of Indigenous women experience violence or sexual assault, APTN News
“A new report from Statistics Canada says that First Nations, Inuit and Métis women across the country are still experiencing higher rates of violence and sexual assault than non-Indigenous women.
‘Violence against Indigenous peoples reflects the traumatic and destructive history of colonialization that impacted and continues to impact Indigenous families, communities and Canadian society overall,’ the agency’s report says.
According to the report, ‘more than six in 10 (63%) Indigenous women have experienced physical or sexual assault in their lifetime’ and, ‘almost six in 10 (56%) Indigenous women have experienced physical assault while almost half (46%) of Indigenous women have experienced sexual assault.’
The report says only a third of non-Indigenous women have faced the same violence in their lifetime.” Read more…
Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard denies rape allegations at sex assault trial, CBC News
“Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard emphatically denied raping two women, one of whom was a teenager at the time, testifying in court Tuesday that both encounters were consensual and ‘passionate.’
Hoggard, the frontman for the band Hedley, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one of sexual interference, a charge that relates to the sexual touching of a person under 16.
Prosecutors allege that once at the hotel, Hoggard repeatedly raped the complainants, leaving them bleeding and bruised.
Both women have testified they cried and said no during the encounters. The younger complainant also said she tried to resist physically but Hoggard pinned her down.” 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!