Sexual Assault Awareness in the Spotlight
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre (CSAC) is taking the opportunity to emphasize the importance of talking about sexual assault, particularly after this past year of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.
“Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a great opportunity for organizations like ours to shed light on a topic that often gets overlooked,” says Jamie Matthews, CSAC Executive Director. “Sexual violence affects everyone, but since there are so many myths (see below) and negative perceptions that deter people from getting the support they need, not everyone realizes how widespread it actually is. Sexual Assault Awareness Month, particularly the 2021 campaign, is even more important because cases have been steadily increasing since the pandemic first began.
“Call volumes into our Community Resource Centre have quadrupled over the past year due to the isolation and instability the pandemic has caused.”
As CSAC celebrates its 25th anniversary, the staff and board felt that now was the perfect time to introduce their new program, Aftercare: Journey Program. Dedicated to supporting those impacted by sexual violence in a gender-equitable, compassionate environment since 1996, CSAC will continue to provide up to twelve individual counselling sessions free of charge for those impacted by sexual violence. After completing this initial offering of twelve sessions, clients will now have the opportunity to “graduate” into the Aftercare: Journey Program to further support their healing journey.
There are five distinct themes that make up the aftercare program: understanding self-esteem, identifying values, boundaries and healthy relationships, effective communication techniques and self-forgiveness. Once the aftercare program is completed, either in person or virtually, clients will be given a tool kit filled with applicable resources and can be referred to other local organizations from the CSAC’s list of referral partners in the community who offer complimentary services.
“We are incredibly proud to unveil this new program to our clients across Colchester, East Hants and Cumberland counties,” says Matthews. “We are confident that our highly trained and specialized team of counselling therapists can deliver the highest quality of care to our clients along their healing journey. That’s what Awareness Month means to us. We’re not just bringing awareness to the issue, but we’re bringing awareness to the resources that are available, and (letting people know) that the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre is here to help.”
Because sexual violence impacts everyone, CSAC remains open and available to everyone. The highly trained, diverse and specialized team of five masters level counselling therapists have experience directly supporting women, men, youth, 2SLGBTQI+ and all gender identities, as well as minority and marginalized groups in need of support. Through counselling, education, prevention, awareness, and advocacy, CSAC is working to help strengthen and empower those impacted by sexual violence, while working toward its prevention.
For more information on programs and services offered by the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre, or to safely and securely book an appointment, please visit www.colchestersac.ca, phone 902.897.4366 or email email@example.com. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. All requests and conversations are treated with the highest standards of confidentiality and will never be share with anyone without your consent.