November 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to SSAIC’s November 2021 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.

COVID-19 Updates

SSAIC is open! We are currently serving clients of sexualized violence over Zoom and telephone only and providing public education virtually. In order to keep our staff and clients safe in light of the more transmissible Delta variant circulating in our community, we will continue to operate under the current restrictions:

  • Masking
  • Physically distancing
  • Sanitization & temperature protocols
  • Primarily utilizing telephone and Zoom counselling
  • Keeping our main office closed to the public

The majority of our counselling will continue to be provided over Zoom or telephone unless we assess that clients can not access service using that technology or require some initial face-to-face support. SSAIC will remain closed to walk-in support at this time.

We are taking new clients and would encourage those who need our assistance to call our office during office hours and speak to one of our counsellors. Our 24-hour crisis line is fully functional and available to assist anyone who needs our help.

We have expanded our services to include more online resources for survivors. Please check out our Survivors Toolkit for additional resources and videos.

What’s New at SSAIC

The season of giving is upon us!

SSAIC relies heavily on community donations and grants to deliver the exceptional services that we always aim to deliver.  

We have seen so much support from our community over the last few years in sharing our posts, spreading the word about our agency, and donating funds. Let’s keep that momentum going with #GivingTuesday, November 30th!

You can give to us by following our socials, subscribing to our newsletter, shopping our merch, or donating to SSAIC. Find links to each of these giving options in the link in our bio, or on our website under “Ways to Give”. Whatever you can give, we see you and appreciate you.

Happy holiday season!

November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month

During the fall months, we recognize and bring awareness to several painful realities: the abuse of women, the rates of domestic violence, and the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV). Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Abusers frequently use a variety of abusive and violent behaviours to gain and maintain control over their partners. Often, more than one type of abuse co-occurs in abusive relationships and can include physical, psychological, emotional, verbal, financial, spiritual, and sexual abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual violence, our counselling and support services are available to you. Here at SSAIC, we may not be experts in all forms of abuse, but we have community partnerships with agencies who certainly are.

Without intervention, the frequency and severity of IPV usually increases over time. The cycle of violence can help us better understand the complexity and co-existence of loving behaviours with abuse.

  • Calm: at the start of the relationship, violence and abuse have not yet occurred. After an incident of violence/abuse, there is a “honeymoon phase” where things feel better, similar to the beginning of the relationship
  • Tension building: the survivor might feel like they are walking on eggshells, working to smooth things over or placate their partner
  • Violent incident: an incident of physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological violence occurs. The abuser may threaten, intimidate, blame, or use other controlling behaviours
  • Reconciliation: the abuser apologizes and may minimize or make excuses for their behaviour or make promises to change

The Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS) is the member association for agencies that provide intimate partner violence services across Saskatchewan. Agencies and organizations that can help are also listed on their website under the Get Help Now button.

211 Saskatchewan

211 Saskatchewan is a free, confidential, 24/7 service that connects individuals to human services in the province by telephone, text, or web chat, plus a searchable website with over 6,000 services across Saskatchewan.

Individuals seeking services can call 2-1-1, text “Hello” to 2-1-1, email, or go online to chat with trained professionals who will help find and navigate the services they need. Over 175 languages (including 17 Indigenous languages) are available over the phone.

Signal for Help

The social isolation measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic are making it more difficult for those who are at risk of abuse or violence to safely reach out for help.

“Signal for Help” is a simple, one-handed sign someone can use on a video call (or in person) to silently show they need help and want someone to check in with them in a safe way. The idea is that it is a discrete gesture and it won’t leave a digital footprint. Watch a brief demonstration of the hand signal here.

If you see someone use the Signal for Help, check in with them safely to find out what they need and want you to do. Safe strategies may include subtly texting, emailing, or calling with questions that allow yes or no answers. It is not a signal for you to do anything on their behalf without their consent. They may want to tell you what is happening, they may ask you to listen, or they may ask for help finding services. Please don’t assume it is safe for you to initiate the conversation or that they want you to call the authorities. Of course, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local emergency services (police, fire, ambulance).

The Signal for Help was launched in April 2020 by the Canadian Women’s Foundation in response to COVID-19. It is now being shared by partner organizations around the world and social media posts have gone viral in 2020 and 2021. Earlier this month, a missing 16-year-old from North Carolina was rescued in Kentucky after a motorist noticed her using the hand signal from her abductor’s vehicle. The teen had learned the hand gesture on Tik Tok.

Reminder: Zoom Counselling Now Available at SSAIC

In order to safely continue offering counselling services during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been providing support primarily over the telephone. We are very pleased to now offer Zoom appointments as an additional option for our clients! For those needing our assistance, please call our office at 306-244-2294 to schedule an appointment.

Thank-you!

If we’ve learned anything from this past year and a half, it’s how much our community members show up for one another. We have the most amazing community of supporters and donors, here in Saskatoon and across our province. We’re blown away and so very thankful!

Learning & Entertainment

Online Learning Workshop Series

SSAIC’s Online Learning Workshop Series are updated each season with new and exciting webinars related to sexualized violence. Our webinars are aimed at any and everyone from professionals to the general public with a thirst to learn. Join us live through Zoom or register and watch later.

Understanding Sexualized Violence: Our “101” Course – December 9th @ 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Our “101” course: all the things we think you should know about sexualized violence, how trauma impacts the mind and body, and our best tips for taking care of yourself and others.

Impacts of COVID-19 on Survivors (watch now!)

COVID-19 has had unprecedented impacts on the whole world, but how has it impacted survivors of sexualized violence specifically? This webinar is presented by Morgan Price, Education & Outreach Coordinator and Megan Sawyer, SSAIC’s Client Services Coordinator and counsellor to survivors. Watch the recording of our presentation below. Click here to make a donation.

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.

Click on the following link to register yourself for SST:

Full Day Training ($150):

November 23rd, 2021 (9:00am – 4:00pm)

Half Day Training:

More coming soon!

SSAIC Staff Recommends

The Trauma-Informed Lawyer hosted by Myrna McCallum (podcast)

I had the pleasure of hearing Myrna present at a conference and couldn’t stop listening to her endearing advice and honest explanations about the pitfalls of law school regarding ethical competency, cultural humility, and trauma-informed care. Myrna is a Métis woman from Treaty 6 territory living in the Vancouver area, sharing her experiences and offering points of growth for lawyers and other professionals alike through her Instagram and podcast. – Morgan

@somaticexperiencingint on Instagram

This account shares some really empowering and motivational content. They also share practical tips for grounding, self-care, and sitting with big feelings. Practicing grounding and mindfulness can really help move healing forward, so following accounts like this can help bring some of those tools right to your fingertips! – Steph

We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle (podcast), UNBOUND with Tarana Burke Part 1 and Part 2 – Faye

Each week, Glenna Doyle and her sister Amanda “drop the fake and talk honestly about the hard” so we can all do what they believe we were meant to do: “help each other carry the hard so we can all live a little bit lighter and braver, more free and less alone.” These two episodes feature a “joyful, energizing, and hopeful” conversation with Tarana Burke, one of the founders of the ‘me too’ movement. Tarana has dedicated more than 25 years to advocacy and activism, working at the intersection of sexual violence and racial justice.

Sexualized Violence in the News

‘It’s about school safety’: Students at two high schools stage walkout over sexual violence, Calgary Herald

On the morning of Tuesday, November 16th, students at two Calgary public high schools walked out of class to demand school administration ensure students are kept safe from sexual violence.

At Western Canada High School, approximately 100 students walked out, chanting “change now” and carrying signs reading “silence encourages rapists” and “protect us not your reputation.” A walk was also organized at Central Memorial High School.

According to a letter written by Western student organizers, survivors of sexual violence have been forced to be in the same classroom as their abuser, resources are not openly accessible, and consent is not featured prominently in school curriculums. The Calgary Board of Education declined an interview on Tuesday. Read more…

Sheldon Kennedy calls for systemic change amid Chicago NHL sexual assault investigation, CBC News

A recent report by an outside law firm detailed how senior leaders of the Chicago Blackhawks badly mishandled allegations that an assistant coach sexually assaulted player Kyle Beach during the team’s Stanley Cup run in 2010.

Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy says he thinks the Chicago NHL team’s response to allegations of sexual assault is an example of how an organization’s “systemic response” needs to change.

“We need to get to the point where winning at all costs isn’t our No. 1 priority,” he said. Read more…

Canada’s top court to decide if B.C. man who allegedly ignored request to wear condom during sex should stand trial, CTV News

In a one-day hearing, Canada’s top court will consider how “sexual activity” is defined and whether the use of a condom or contraceptives “forms part of the sexual activity a person is consenting to.”

The court will also decide whether failure of a party to advise a sexual partner that a condition of the sexual activity they have agreed to is absent constitutes fraud under section 265(3) of Canada’s Criminal Code.

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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