October 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to SSAIC’s October 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

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 (effective September 17th, masks are required in all indoor public spaces in Saskatchewan)
  • 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

Zoom Counselling Now Available

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 announce that Zoom appointments are now available as an additional option for our clients! For those needing our assistance, please call our office at 306-244-2294 to schedule an appointment.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Previously known as Orange Shirt Day, September 30th provides an opportunity for us to recognize and reflect on the trauma, harms, and legacy of the Residential School system here on Turtle Island.

The ongoing work in finding unmarked graves of children at Residential Schools has touched our country and highlighted the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and others who initially reported on this tragedy.

Our office remained closed on September 30th, and our staff took the day off to reflect on their personal journeys toward reconciliation.

To read more about our reconciliation work, please read our latest blog post, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – What This Day Means to Us at SSAIC.

Volunteer Opportunity at SSAIC

We’re currently recruiting volunteer facilitators for our 2022 season of “I’m the Boss of Me”, our Grade 4 child sexual abuse prevention & education program. We (virtually) visit students in their classrooms and share a puppet show presentation that teaches kids that they are the boss of their own bodies – a critical message for students to learn at this age.

We keep a tight team of narrators who engage students through a discussion after the puppet show about sexual abuse, secrets, boundaries, and support systems. All in all, you get a great experience and students come away knowing “I’m the boss of me!”

If this position is calling your name, we’d love to learn more about you. Visit our Volunteer page on our website to let us know why you’ll be a great fit for this program!

Women’s History Month

In 1992, the Government of Canada designated October as Women’s History Month, dedicated to honouring and learning about the outstanding achievements of women throughout Canada’s history. Here are some interesting facts about women in our country:

  • In 1919, women were granted the right to work.
  • In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 times more Canadian women than men fell out of the workforce.
  • In 1929, women were recognized as “persons” in Canada.
  • In 2020, 160 (reported) women and girls were killed by violence.
  • In 1916, the women’s suffrage movement saw success by winning the right for Saskatchewan women to vote.
  • Quebecois women were not granted this right until 1940, Asian women not until 1948, Inuit women not until 1950, and First Nations women not until 1960 (previously, they could vote, but had to denouce their treaty status).

In honour of Women’s History Month in Canada, we’d like to bring attention to Raven Lacerte, who is calling on the help of men and boys to end violence against women and children. Read about Raven Lacerte here, and stay tuned to our blog where we will *spoiler alert* discuss the work she is doing.

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.

Victim Services for Survivors: A Panel Discussion – November 18th @ 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Join us in this casual conversation with experts from across Saskatchewan in the Victim Services field as they discuss what their services are, how survivors can access them, and what they are doing to change the justice system experience for survivors of sexualized violence.

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? Co-presenting this webinar is 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 available training date below to register online. Contact us to book a private training session for your group. Space is limited.

Full Day Training ($150):

November 23rd, 2021 (9:00am – 4:00pm)

Half Day Trainings:

More coming soon!

SSAIC Staff Recommends

Can You Hear Me Now? – Bonnie

When Celina Caesar-Chavannes became the first Black person elected to represent the federal riding of Whitby, Ontario, she hadn’t really thought about the fact that Ottawa wasn’t designed for someone like her. In her book Can You Hear Me Now? she digs deep into her childhood and her life as a young Black woman entrepreneur and politician, and shows us that effective and humane leaders grow as much from their mistakes and vulnerabilities as from their strengths.

Finding Cleo (CBC – part of the Missing & Murdered series)

Saskatchewan-based story and reporting that is extremely compelling and speaks to the devastating effects of Residential Schools, the 60s scoop, and other impacts of colonization. It is also replete with twists and turns and some amazing investigating and reporting. My child welfare class students were completely entranced and learned so much! – Lise

Journey to Wellness – Sarah

@journey_to_wellness_ was created by Rebekah Ballagh, a counsellor, mindfulness coach, and published best-selling author and illustrator. Having worked across a wide range of mental health roles, Rebekah felt it would be helpful for her clients to be able to access “fun, colourful, digestible” resources between sessions to help them remember the tools she taught them. She began illustrating therapy tips and counselling concepts, posting her work to social media with the mission to make mental health and therapy tools accessible, digestible, approachable, and fun.

Sexualized Violence in the News

Former Carleton University basketball star acquitted of sexual assault – Ottawa Citizen

A former Carleton University basketball star has been acquitted of drugging and sexually assaulting a young woman on the night his team celebrated its 14th national championship.

Edward “Eddie” Ekiyor, 24, testified that he had a consensual one-night stand with the woman, whom he met in a downtown bar on April 6, 2019. The woman told the court she was drugged and raped while lapsing in and out of consciousness.

In a decision delivered Friday, Ontario Court Justice Trevor Brown said that, while he believed the victim was administered a date rape drug at the bar, there was no evidence that Ekiyor took part in the crime. Brown said the principal issue in the case was whether the victim, impaired by the drug, consented to sexual activity with Ekiyor. Note from SSAIC: the judge agreed the woman had been drugged at the bar which, as per our criminal code, makes it impossible for her to consent to sexual activity. This judge is misinformed, and it’s his responsibility to not be. Read more…

Principal apologizes after Hamilton, Ont. school makes dress code announcement amid sexual assault investigation – CTV News

The principal of a Hamilton, Ont. high school has apologized after making an announcement about the female dress code just days after police began investigating sexual assaults related to the school. Students say that, during Thursday’s announcements, they were reminded to adhere to a dress code that would see them cover their shoulders and stomachs.

“It felt as if they were telling us it was our fault,” Waterdown student Sophie Vivian told CP24 Friday night.

On Friday, Vivian helped organize a walkout at the school, saying that the goal was to empower any victims of sexual assault and harassment as well as show that the dress code needs to be updated to apply to both boys and girls. Read more…

Saskatoon police report arrest of suspect in U of S campus sexual assault – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

A 22-year-old man is charged with an alleged sexual assault reported last week on the University of Saskatchewan campus.

The complainant reported to police on Sept. 30 that she was in the Arts Building on the evening of Sept. 29 when an unknown man threatened her with a weapon, then sexually assaulted her. The university sent a letter on Sept. 30 alerting students, faculty, and staff, and advising that security patrols had been increased on campus. 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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