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1. SASS Updates
2. Member Agency Events & Updates
4. Featured Member Agency: PARTNERS Family Services
5. Saskatchewan Sexual Assault Initiatives

6. Canadian Sexual Assault Initiatives
7. In the News...
8. Resources
9. Training & Workshops
10. Events
Mark your calendars for March 29th, 2017! SASS along with STOPS to Violence and PATHS is hosting a luncheon in Regina for International Women's Day. More details TBA in March!

The Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan (SASS) has applied and received funding from the Department of Justice Canada under the Victims Fund Measures to Enhance Criminal Justice System Responses to Adult Sexual Assault in Canada for the project entitled “Saskatchewan First Responder Training”.

"With support from the Government of Alberta and Status of Women Canada the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS) developed First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training™. This training is intended to build the capacity of professionals, paraprofessionals and community members to assess and respond effectively to disclosures of sexual assault and sexual abuse. Survivors who receive safe and supportive responses to disclosures of sexual violence are more likely to reach out for help from medical and counselling services and/or report to police". "First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training™" is a comprehensive five day training program that highlights the full continuum of sexual violence and abuse across a person's lifespan. The First Responder training is designed to educate individuals about social, cultural and legal aspects of sexual assault and abuse. Thus helping professionals to recognize, define and respond appropriately.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this training, participants are able to train helping professionals and volunteers on topics, including:
• Responding appropriately to disclosures of sexual assault and abuse.
• Understanding the short and long term physical, psychological and emotional impact of sexual assault and abuse.
• Understanding the myths and attitudes in society surrounding sexual assault and abuse that permit and continue to allow sexual assault and abuse to exist.
• Understanding how the individual who sexually offends is responsible for the sexual assault or sexual abuse.
• Demonstrating compassion and empathy for individuals who are sexually assaulted or abused.
• Referring individuals who are sexually assaulted or abused to appropriate resources.

This training will reach all areas of the province providing a standardized method of delivery. After the member agencies obtain the 5 day training, they will be able to provide additional training to their organizations for their staff and volunteers within their community. The First Responder "train the trainer" program will create partnerships with the member agencies and the communities across the province. The member agencies and their communities will learn and develop proven methods of delivery. This training will be a continual, sustainable cycle.

May 29th to June 2nd, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

February 14th, 2017 -- SASS attended an event hosted by the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, the Emotional Intelligence and Consent Education Workshop. The workshop involved learning a combination of personal and social competencies from speaker Karen B.K. Chan, allowing for deep and honest connections. As well as applying concepts to sexual health promotion, including condom use and sexual consent. 

News from SSAIC:
"I'm the Boss of Me" child sexual abuse prevention program is in full swing! Over 45+ volunteers are out presenting this puppet show to Grade 4 classrooms in Saskatoon and area public and catholic schools. In 2016, we reached over 100 schools OR 2,671 students!

We would also like to officially welcome our new full-time counselor, Stephanie Locke. Stephanie comes to us from Ontario, where she earned her Master's degree in social work. She has a background working with women adn youth, and she did outreach on the streets of Saskatoon before becoming a counselor/client worker at SSAIC. Her interests include cats, yoga, fighting the patriarchy, and dismantling rape culture.

You may want to subscribe to our monthly reading list, which offers various news stories and interactive media related to sexual assault. Alternately, you can visit the SSAIC blog here. We are trying to post original content at least once a month -- wish us luck!

SSAIC and the U of S have teamed up to create clear sexual assault policies. A current initiative involved the production of an app for the University of Saskatchewan campus. 

“The USAFE app features emergency contact information, safety tips, a way to ask a friend to virtually walk you home, as well as an emergency alert component. It also includes an interactive campus map, webcam views of campus, links to local transportation, and the ability to send your location to a friend via text or email.”

Click here to learn more about the USAFE app.

Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit

The Mobile Crisis Unit is running their first adult support group at the women's shelter with the help of 2 practicum students and a volunteer.  They have also had the opportunity to deliver a first Mental Health First Aid - First Nations Course for Sturgeon Lake.  The course itself was very well received and they are heading to La Ronge next week to do another. 

A presentation is also coming up on the February 28th, at Sask Polytechnic for the Corrections Course.  The focus of the presentation will be on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in our community and beyond, as well as an opportunity to provide information pertaining to what services our organization offers. This will be the third presentation they have done there.  The first two were for the Aboriginal Policing Course and for persons in the Adult Basic Education course.


PARTNERS Family Services
Humboldt, SK

PARTNERS Family Services is a family support center which serves the City of Humboldt and 36 surrounding rural communities within a 100 kilometer radius. PARTNERS Family Services believes in building healthy families and communities to prevent interpersonal violence and abuse.

PARTNERS Family Services is funded by the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General for the Family Violence Outreach Program and the Ministry of Social Services for the Child and Family Support Services Program.

The Family Violence Outreach Program provides prevention, intervention and integrated support services to at-risk groups, individuals and families experiencing interpersonal violence by providing a safe place to access in times of crisis. The Family Support Services Program aims to promote and maintain the integrity of the family by providing parent education, mentor ship, access to respite services and respite providers by foster families, alternative caregivers and families.

Click here to visit their website and learn more.

We Stand Together
By Annie Arnone, The Eyeopener

Emma Arsenault was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted. Ten years later, the image arts student still feels repercussions of that moment.Now, the 25-year-old plans on channeling her experience, as well as the anger surrounding it through art—specifically her end-of-year thesis project We Stand Together, an interactive video installation that focuses on women who have been sexually assaulted, who have come forward with their stories.

“The basis of this project that I’m focussing on is the power of numbers,” said Arsenault. “Women can come forward together.”The project will also contain audio clips from the survivors, answering questions such as “What would you say to the person today, who sexually assaulted you?”Arsenault was recently accepted into the documentary media program at Ryerson for a master of fine arts.

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network

An innovative new program should help those suffering from sexual violence.

Called the Supporting Police Response to Sexual Violence and Harassment, the provincially-funded pilot program will be operated regionally through a partnership forged between police, health and social-service agencies with a goal of creating a sexual assault safe centre later this year.

"This serves an important role," said Michelle Blacklock, a victim advocate at the Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka (CACSM).

"We are working together as a multi-disciplinary team. All victims will have an advocate there for them."

On Tuesday, the Orillia Police Services Board passed a motion following a presentation by Blacklock and an OPP representative that will see the program's government funding distributed via a city-assigned reserve account.

Click here to access the full article.

British Columbia

By: Simona Chiose, The Globe and Mail


The University of British Columbia plans to introduce a standalone sexual-assault and misconduct policy and establish a centre to support assault survivors, the latest Canadian postsecondary institution to respond to persistent calls for the education sector to address such incidents on campus.

Under the new policy, an independent investigator would be responsible for examining allegations of assault or misconduct, rather than a tribunal of trained students, as can be the case under UBC’s existing procedures. It is one among several new measures contained in an extensively revised draft of the university’s sexual-assault policy, which is up for discussion at this Tuesday’s board of governors meeting.

“Universities have been responsible for sexual assault ever since there have been harassment and discrimination procedures in institutions,” said Sara-Jane Finlay, UBC’s associate vice-president of equity and inclusion. “So this is not something new, but the focus and level of discourse on university campuses is much higher and I think that’s a good thing.”

Click here to access the full article.

By Jason Warick, CBC News

Saskatchewan's alarming rate of family violence prompted provincial Justice Minister Gordon Wyant on Thursday to promise to address the problem.

Wyant said he will propose a number of new laws in the upcoming legislative session. One would allow those fleeing domestic abuse to break lease agreements. Another would create a database of protection orders for victims and police to access.

  "We take this very, very seriously," Wyant said. "I can tell you that it's a priority of mine and a priority for the Government of Saskatchewan to do what we can do to help reduce the incidence of interpersonal violence."

However, Wyant wouldn't say whether family violence programs would be immune from provincial budget cuts next month. He said the province must use existing funds as efficiently as possible. 

Click here to access the full article.




Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose has introduced a private member's bill in the Commons that would require mandatory training for would-be judges on issues surrounding sexual assault.

If passed, the legislation, Bill C-337, would restrict eligibility for judicial appointments to those who have completed comprehensive sexual assault education.

It would require the Canadian Judicial Council to report on continuing education seminars in matters related to sexual assault law and amend the Criminal Code to require judges to provide written reasons in sexual assault rulings.

The bill says the training courses for lawyers seeking judgeships should include instruction in evidentiary prohibitions, principles of consent and the conduct of sexual assault proceedings.

They would also look at myths and stereotypes associated with sexual assault complainants.

Ambrose says she worked at a rape crisis centre while in university and knows that victims of sexual assault need support.



By  Patrick White & Robyn Doolittle, The Globe and Mail

Canada’s top law-enforcement official has implored police to reassess how they manage sex-assault complaints, as the country’s second-largest force joined several others in mounting a full-scale audit of every case closed as “unfounded” – a formal classification that deems allegations baseless.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale made the demand on Tuesday, as three major police forces launched reviews into their handling of sexual-assault complaints in response to a Globe and Mail investigation that exposed deep flaws in the way investigators treat such allegations. Mr. Goodale called on police investigators and Crown prosecutors “to re-examine all of their approaches, all of their procedures, all of the ways that cases are managed, that investigations are conducted to make sure that we fix this problem and that our criminal justice system is delivering justice to those who in these circumstances have been so brutally victimized.”

Click here to access the whole article.



By Caley Ramsay, Global News

A 39-year-old man has been charged in connection with several sexual assaults that occurred at the West Edmonton Mall World Waterpark over the weekend.

Police were called to the waterpark at around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Officers allege a man followed and inappropriately touched six teenage girls while they were swimming at the waterpark.

“It’s fairly shocking,” EPS spokesperson Scott Pattison said. “It’s involved and traumatized six individuals and their families.”

Pattison said all six girls were under the age of 16.

Click here to access the full article.

By Jules Knox, Global News

Alarming statistics show a shocking number of sexual assault cases in Saskatchewan are dismissed as unfounded.

Victims who have their complaint labelled as unfounded might question why they came forward in the first place, Heather Pocock, Saskatoon Sexual Assault and Information Centre’s assistant director, said.

“I think they would feel betrayed, and like, I’m all by myself…nobody believes me. What about me? What am I supposed to do now? This happened to me and I don’t feel like anybody’s listening to me,” Pocock said.


Fifteen per cent of sexual assault complaints to the Regina Police Service were labelled unfounded last year, and in 2015 it was 18 per cent, according to Amy Balfour, Regina Police’s strategic services manager.

“If a crime is deemed unfounded, what that means is that there is not enough evidence to pursue an investigation to prove that a criminal allegation occurred,” Balfour said. “So someone could make an allegation that a crime occurred but we can’t prove it, or they recant, or circumstances change and we have no evidence.”

Click here to access the full article.



By Kate Samuelson

“Are you on a date that isn’t working out? Do you feel like you’re not in a safe situation? Is your Tinder or Plenty of Fish not who they said they were on their profile? Does it all feel a bit weird?”

That’s the sign on the bathroom wall in Suburban, a bar in Wimbledon, southwest London. The cocktail joint is one of the most recent venues in the U.K. to have joined the Ask for Angela campaign, a concept that started as a small local initiative in the eastern England county of Lincolnshire, but is rapidly spreading around the globe.

Ask for Angela is there to help vulnerable people, primarily women, in public places. Anyone who feels uncomfortable – from someone on a difficult blind date, to a person whose partner is behaving in a threatening manner – is advised to ask for Angela at the bar. Trained staff will then discreetly help them out the venue, often into a taxi, before escorting the perpetrator out the door once they are in a safe place.

Click here to read more about the initiative.




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Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS) is offering the Make It Our Business training program (developed by Western Education’s Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children (CREVAWC). Make It Our Business provides information and education to help employers and employees respond to domestic violence in the workplace. This training outlines how employers, supervisors, managers, human resources professionals, security personnel, union representatives, and co-workers can recognize abusive relationships, respond to domestic violence, and refer victims and abusers to supports that offer help. 1 hour, 1 day, and 2 day training is available.  More information and contact:
In Person Conferences
Justice Canada Knowledge Exchange 2017
 Gatineau, Quebec:  March 7-8, 2017

The event will also examine promising practices from within Canada and other common law jurisdictions that aim to strengthen the criminal justice system’s responses to this crime. The Knowledge Exchange will be open to criminal justice professionals, academics, victim service providers and government policy makers.

Panel 1: Sexual Assault in Canada: Statistics and the Law
Panel 2: Sexual Assault Reporting and Investigation
Panel 3:
Sexual Assault Trial: Substantive Law and Procedure
Panel 3: Sexual Assault Trial: Evidence, Testimonial Aids and Expert Witnesses
Panel 4: Sentencing and Corrections
Panel 5: Promising Practices and Alternatives to Traditional Criminal Justice Trials

Click here to find out more.

Volunteer Summit Expo
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 9 AM – 3 PM; Heath Sciences Building, Atrium, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Open to community and non-profit organizations to promote their volunteer recruitment needs and opportunities to persons in attendance.
The Volunteer Summit, will bring together people involved in volunteerism throughout the province, including volunteers and those who support and coordinate volunteers, community leaders, employers, students, USASK alumni, board members and the curious.

National volunteerism experts and local leaders will inspire us and challenge us to keep volunteerism thriving in Saskatchewan.Speakers include Mr. Bruce MacDonald, CEO & President of Imagine Canada, Ms. Paula Speevak, CEO & President of Volunteer Canada, and Ms. Ilona Dougherty, Social Entrepreneur and leading expert on Millennials & Generation Z, plus an Indigenous Volunteer Voices Panel.

Registration is $50.00 per table, click here to register.

The Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute presents the following in-person public workshops in Saskatchewan this Winter:
Walking Through Grief – Helping Others Deal with Loss
Saskatoon:  March 27-28, 2017 (early rate expires March 6th)

This workshop is designed to give helpers an increased awareness of the dynamics of grief, and to provide tools and strategies to best support someone who is grieving. Cultural and popular understandings of grief and loss, and the influences these have on how we experience and work with grief will be explored.

Some of the topics covered:
  • Exploring the Impacts of Grief and Loss
  • Grief, Loss, and Trauma/Complicated Grief
  • Paths to Healing/Recovery
  • Merging your Paths
  • Developing a New Identity
Early Rate $375;  Regular Rate $420
Click here for more information and to register for the seminar.
International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Systems Change
April 18-20, 2017 in Orlando, FL.
This annual conference focuses on sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, human trafficking and elder abuse.  It consistently brings together law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, victim advocates, judges, parole and probation officers, rape crisis workers, health care professionals, faith community members, educators, researchers and others in a three day conference highlighting promising practices and emerging issues to effectively respond to these crimes in all of our communities.

Pre-Conference: Information and registration for a pre-conference session Handling Strangulation Assaults from the 911 Call to the Court Room can be accessed here.

Online Registration: Our preferred method for conference registrations is our online format. Online registration allows you to register regardless of your method of payment (credit card, check or purchase order). If for some reason you are unable to register online, you may download the manual registration form.

Click here for more information.
Web Conferences

Victim Impact: How Victims Are Affected by Sexual Assault and How Law Enforcement Can Respond
This module will describe the symptoms and stages often experienced by sexual assault victims.  This information is provided in order to assist law enforcement and others in understanding the behavior of sexual assault victims and conducting their investigation in the most sensitive and effective way.  However, it is critical that officers and investigators remember that there is no universal reaction to sexual assault.
The Online Training Institute (OLTI) is FREE. There is no cost to register, enroll, or complete any of the modules. Click here for more course options.

Join us as we gather in solidarity with the global Women's March movement and in recognition of International Women's Day. Too often women's voices are silenced in the halls of power. We gather to mourn 3329+ murdered and missing Indigenous women. We gather to support victims of sexual assault denied justice. We gather to support all those who experience violence from an intimate partner. We gather to protest the rise of intolerance and hatred. Bring a sign stating why International Women's Day matters to you. Wear pink. Bring a friend.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”


~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright © 2017 Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan, All rights reserved.

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215-1102 8th Avenue
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4R 1C9

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Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan · 215 - 1102 8th Ave · Regina, Sk S4R 1C9 · Canada

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