Our agency is thrilled to be a part of the recent launch of the Waterloo Region’s Sexual Assault Response Protocol. You can read the May 24th article in the Times: http://www.cambridgetimes.ca/news/local/article/1360280–new-protocol-for-sexual-assault-cases. As the article quotes Sara Casselman, public relations manager for the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region, (SASCWR) one of our many community partners, sexual abuse continues to be an underreported crime, with less than 10% of survivors involving police. Sadly, many suffer in silence for days or even years because of shame or not knowing where to go for help. The long term impacts of trauma can significantly jeopardize the quality of life for individuals and have a significant impact on their current and future relationships.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There is much help available for individuals affected by this devastating crime. SASCWR’s website, http://www.sascwr.org/ gives people access to numerous resources related to sexual assault and historical abuse including their 24 hr crisis line. Having participated in volunteer training for the London crisis line, I can assure you, compassionate volunteers receive in depth training on all issues related to sexual violence with emphasis on inclusion and diversity training. Accompaniments and court support is also available.
Learn more about the immediate support programs offered in our local hospitals, http://wwwkeepingsafe..ca/ and Victim Services, http://www.vswr.ca/. The Victim Quick Response Program was developed to ensure survivors get help as soon as possible.
As a friend or family member of a survivor; be a non-judgmental ear or shoulder to lean on. We can reduce the shame by challenging victim blaming and giving survivors a safe place to talk. I’ve learned the importance of being respectful of physical boundaries and empowering survivors to gain back control by supporting their decisions.
At FCCCND, we are grateful for funding through MCSS to provide therapeutic support to survivors of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Come to our walk-in counselling on Thursdays from 1-7 pm to get the help you need, when you need it!
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Nicole, May 25/12