Be sure to save these important dates in your calendar! (More details, such as exact times and locations, to be announced)
February 24, 2020: Honey Bee: Film and Panel (a partnership with Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council and Trinity United Church, in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Day)
May 1 - 31, 2020: Sexual Assault Prevention Month
May 1, 2020: No One Asks For It! (Wear Purple Day, #NoOneAsksForIt)
May 2, 2020: 3rd Annual Rosie The Riveter Bowl-A-Thon
June 13, 2020: Top secret event! Stay tuned for a big announcement in February!
June 17, 2020: SASC's 30th Anniversary AGM
June 20, 2020: FoxNet's Nashville Night
September 17, 2020: Take Back The Night!
November 7, 2020: SASC's Annual Gala
November 25 - December 10, 2020: 16 Days of Activism
December 1, 2020: Giving Tuesday
Over the past few months, with support from the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation and the Department of Justice, our Centre has added two brand new positions to our team - a Groups and Workshop Coordinator and a Workplace Equity Educator! Read all about how these roles assist in helping to address upstream and downstream solutions to sexual violence in this staff Q&A.
Adria, can you share a bit about yourself, and the work you are doing as our Groups and Workshop Coordinator? I am passionate about social justice and have worked on advocating for equity in a variety of settings for over 8 years, with a focus on preventing gendered violence and supporting survivors of sexual violence.
I hold a BA in Psychology from the University of Guelph and an MSW from Wilfrid Laurier University and am committed to ongoing professional development.
As the Group and Workshop Coordinator, I work with the counselling team to plan and facilitate workshops, drop-in groups, and multi-session groups on topics around healing from sexual violence. With this role, I am especially excited that we are able to create intentional spaces for marginalized communities as well, such as groups specifically for LGBTQ+ survivors and newcomer women.
What types of programs will you be promoting over the next few months? Our next workshop coming up is a workshop called Trauma and Our Relationship with Food on February 5th, which is a collaboration with our Public Education team and open to survivors and the public.
We have an 8-week group called Exploring the Dark Places coming up in Kitchener for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, which is a really powerful group experience. We have some interesting workshops, such as a two part workshop on sexual healing in early March, and one on coping with flashbacks and nightmares in April.
I am also excited that we are now offering a monthly support group for LGBTQ+ survivors on the second Tuesday of every month. This is an awesome partnership with Spectrum and will be facilitated by two counsellors from SASC who identify as queer. And of course, our weekly drop-in group Welcome Wednesday continues every Wednesday from 1 – 3pm.
What can a survivor or a supporter of a survivor expect from a support group or workshop if this is their first time attending? We strive to create a safer space for survivors to come and feel welcome. Many survivors say that they are able to exhale when they come into our spaces. We talk about confidentiality at the beginning of each group and workshop and what that means to us. We also discuss group guidelines and what folks need to feel safe in the space. There is no pressure to participate and survivors are welcome to come and just listen.
We often have colouring sheets available so folks can colour while listening or talking. While we have agendas and plans for workshops and groups, we are flexible and adaptable to the needs of the group. Food and refreshments are always provided, as we know that is a big part of creating community and a welcoming atmosphere. It is amazing to witness the mutual support in these spaces and the incredible resiliency of survivors.
How can folks learn more about the programs you mentioned, and how can they sign up? All of our groups and workshops are listed on our website www.sascwr.org/group-counselling. For more information and to register for a group or workshop, please call 519-571-0121 ext. 114 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris, can you share a bit about yourself, and about your role as our Workplace Equity Educator? I was brought on to help develop a workplace anti-sexual harassment and gender equity program under the guidance of TK (Public Education Manager at SASC). I have 12 years of experience facilitating workshops and working in a social work realm to support individuals living with cognitive and mental disabilities and illnesses. What is the #RaiseTheBar program all about? The #RaiseTheBar program, generously funded by the Department of Justice, is designed to help your organizational culture thrive by providing staff, managers, and business owners alike with tools and trainings which encourage healthier, more equitable workplaces. Why should employers bring this program in to their workspaces? Workplace sexual harassment and gender inequity are still widespread issues, spanning companies, sectors and communities. Creating a healthier, more equitable work-space for people of all genders and lived experiences means an investment in your company’s health, culture, and future growth. Research shows that organizations that invest in gender equity are 30% more profitable, and have 30-60% less turnover than similar companies in their field. The workshops are custom designed for each workplace and due to funding from the Department of Justice, they are also provided at no cost.
How do folks get involved in supporting this program? Share the word! Share the word at your workplace, to your partners and friends. This program is designed to reflect and empower Waterloo Region businesses and that begins by opening up a dialogue about how each workplace can do more to address systemic and interpersonal issues before they reach a human resources threshold. Note: Contact Chris at 519-571-0121 ext. 809 or email email@example.com to learn more about the #RaiseTheBar program, or to book a free workshop!