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Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region
December Newsletter
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By Ian Hunter for Kitchener Today - The pandemic has been physically, emotionally and mentally taxing on most of the population, but especially for survivors of sexual violence who were feeling isolated prior to the lockdowns.

Services were already in high demand at the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region before the pandemic took hold in mid-March. But when COVID-19 hit, calls for support escalated even further.

Sara Casselman is the Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Support Centre. Despite planning for the worst, she never expected to shift their entire centre to virtual support through Zoom and phone counselling.

“I certainly never thought I’d be leading an organization through a global pandemic,” Casselman said. “It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t even cross your mind as being a reality. I remember a few years ago when I was updating policies, I wrote a disaster relief policy that covered off if there was a global pandemic.

“At the beginning of this, I remember pulling that out and going: ‘I can’t believe I’m using this policy.’”

To continue reading this article, click here...
Our deepest thanks to KitchenerToday.com and Ian Hunter for covering the impact that COVID-19 has had on our Centre.
Our wish this year is simple. 

We want to build a community of support around local survivors of sexual violence.

So in 2021, we are calling on 40 community members to join us as monthly donors. For as little as $10 a month, you can help us in living out our motto to survivors: You Are Not Alone.
 
Lately, our motto takes on new significance. ​Our Centre is working around the clock to ensure compassionate community care is there for survivors when they reach out. And they are reaching out, in record numbers. We have recently put together some statistics on how COVID-19 is impacting our services, and the numbers are astounding...      
 

In the past three months:
  • We have seen a 25 per cent increase in crisis calls and chats.
  • Requests for individual counselling have increased by 55 per cent.
  • We have experienced a 142 per cent increase in participants in our public education programs.
Over the summer (from July - September):
  • Our Anti-Human Trafficking Program saw a 27 per cent increase in demand for services.
  • We saw a 158 per cent increase in requests for support from women in our Family Court Support Program
  • Participation in group counselling and workshops has risen 312 per cent. 
These statistics, combined with the fact that our waitlists were already at an all-time high of 140 survivors, tell a story we cannot ignore. Survivors need our support now.
 
Please consider joining us as a monthly donor today.
 
Click here to make a monthly or one time donation!
We're going offline...but we'll be back!

At SASC, one of our core values is promoting the self-care and wellness of those working at our Centre. As such, we will be closing our virtual and physical office from Friday December 25th - Sunday, January 3rd. Our Online Chat Support will also be offline during this time. We will be back on Monday, January 4th, ready for another year of supporting survivors in our community.

If you need someone to chat with over the holidays, you are not alone. Our 24 Hour Support Line remains open during this time. Please call 519-741-8633 to reach a trained and caring volunteer. We are here for you!
Learn more about our 24 Hour Support Line
The Results Are In!
 
What a success! Our Ornament Kit fundraiser with Crock A Doodle Waterloo raised a total of $1130!

We wish to extend our HEARTFELT thanks to the caring team at Crock A Doodle for making this happen, and to everyone who brought a little holiday cheer this season by purchasing a kit.

The funds raised will make a meaningful difference by supporting wrap around services for survivors of sexual violence - including our 24 Hour Support Line, Online Chat Support and Counselling, Family Court Support and Anti Human Trafficking programs. Thank you!
What a year!

As we look back on a memorable year, we wish to extend our gratitude to our funders, donors, partners, volunteers and supporters for joining us in our vision of a world without sexual violence and oppression. As we look forward to 2021, we feel a sincere and deep appreciation for everything we were able to accomplish this year because of you.

Finally, we wish to extend heartfelt thanks to all survivors and supporters of survivors who trusted us with their healing journey in 2020. We continue to stand with you in the new year, and beyond. 
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