You are you — not your experience of abuse

You are you — not your experience of abuse

  For many, the aftermath of experiencing sexual violence can feel like it will last forever—the trauma may feel inescapable and the healing, impossible. However, what is integral to understand is that once someone has been affected by sexual violence, that violence does not define them, nor does it consume their identity. You are a person with unique strengths, passions, and personality traits who happens to also be a survivor of sexual abuse—an irreplaceable and captivating life first, who has had a disturbing experience been imposed upon them second. There is hope, and your true self will rise and beam once more. If you are a survivor of sexual violence, and feel out of touch with your inner being, I encourage you to engage in positive self-talk, or what are also known as self-affirmations—mantras, of sorts. Set aside some quiet, alone time in the morning before the day begins, or at night before bed—both morning and night would be best—and remind yourself of who you are. You are you—not your experience...
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Why I Volunteer – Erin

Why I Volunteer – Erin

   I am twenty-four years old, from Kitimat, British Columbia, and I have recently became a volunteer for SAFFRON Centre, (the Strathcona Sexual Assault Centre). This is a place where people can go to heal from sexual abuse and feel empowered, while also educating the public on the importance of change of our preconceived notions of sexual violence. I decided to volunteer with Saffron Centre because not only is it a worthy cause, but as a victim of crime myself, it gives me the chance to give back to the community with the ability to be understanding and empathetic. Without getting too candid, my aunt was murdered when I was six years old, and has had a long lasting effect on my life and mental well-being. So while, it is not sexual abuse, I can understand the feeling of being a victim and having to deal with the emotional hardships that happen after a traumatic incident. By being a volunteer at SAFFRON...
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Consent Event: Walk + Fun Run

Consent Event: Walk + Fun Run

  We are pleased to announce our FIRST ANNUAL CONSENT EVENT Walk & Fun Run Fundraising Event which was held at Broadmoor Lake Park in Sherwood Park on Saturday, May 28th, 2016 was a huge SUCCESS!! Thank you to our Participants, Volunteers, Staff and our Sponsors Arctic Chiller, The Body Shop, UFC Gym, Investors Group, World Health Club, Save On Foods, Outback Dog Grooming, The Running Room, GoodLife Fitness, Second Cup, LifeMark, Imperial Oil, County Clothes Line, Bath and Body Works, Park Avenue Specialties, Sherwood Park News, Safeway, Café Haven, Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County, Costco, NewAd      ...
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School’s In

School’s In

Autumn is a time of excitement for many young adults as they start their studies in post-secondary schools all across the country. But for some, the first year of school will leave a scar. On average, eight on-campus sexual assaults will occur within the first eight weeks of school. Sadly, 20-25% of undergraduate women report having been subjected to unwanted touching, kissing, or other sexual acts. A 2013 study of sexual assaults reported to the Ottawa hospital showed that 90 percent of victims voluntarily consumed alcohol or drugs, with 60 percent thinking they had been drugged. With such shocking statistics, what can we do to prevent you, your friends, or your children from becoming a victim? or the perpetrator?   Talk about consent – what is it, why you need it, how to ask for it. Talk about drugs and alcohol – how they limit your judgment and can lead to high-risk behaviours. Engage men – most men are not perpetrators and can interrupt or...
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ONYX Program

ONYX Program

SAFFRON ONYX Program Focus on : Healthy relationships Boundaries Dating safety Friendships Self-esteem It is said that ONYX is the stone of endurance and guides positive decision making in challenging times. This reflects the goals of the ONYX program: to empower young women to learn how to be assertive and set healthy relationship boundaries as they are bombarded daily with mixed messages through media, music, and print. SAFFRON staff are aware of the need for pro-active services in the community to address the vulnerability of today’s youth, and the challenges they face in present society when dealing with issues of sexual violence. By creating strong, independent, and empowered young women, they will be better able to withstand negative influences of sexual connotations and learn the skills necessary to make positive decisions for themselves and their future. Starting October 2015, contact lindsey@saffroncentre.com or call 780 449 0900  ...
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The Hunting Ground

The Hunting Ground

On Monday, September 21, 2015 at 12:30pm, SAFFRON Sexual Assault Centre Ltd, together with Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County, will be screening an amazing new documentary entitled, “The Hunting Ground” at Galaxy Theatre in Sherwood Park. From the Academy Award-nominated filmmaking team behind THE INVISIBLE WAR, The Hunting Ground is a startling exposé of sexual assault on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families. We at SAFFRON know that this is also an issue at campuses in our community and nationwide. As part of the “I Believe You” campaign, we would like to use this opportunity to spread awareness of this issue and work to create social change. We understand the content of the film can be triggering but it is a crucial conversation that needs to be had in order to engage others to work towards preventing sexual violence. SAFFRON staff will be available for questions both before and after...
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Should I Report My Assault?

Should I Report My Assault?

There was a lot of news regarding sexual assault in July after 35 women stood together to be featured in a New York magazine issue. These women have identified themselves as victims of sexual assault at the hands of a famous comedian. To some it may appear that these women just appeared from nowhere. However these women have been reporting the assaults to authorities since 2005. It took until now for everyone to take notice. Navigating the judicial system is often very difficult and the accused may not be convicted. This is one of the reasons many victims choose not to report their assault. What are some of the other reasons that victims choose not to report a sexual assault?   The perpetrator stopped before finishing the assault. The victim knows the perpetrator. The victim was/is in a relationship with the perpetrator. The victim has no visible physical injuries. The victim is worried the police won't believe them. The child/teen victim is worried about getting in trouble.   It...
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90% of Child Sexual Abuse Victims Know Their Perpetrator

90% of Child Sexual Abuse Victims Know Their Perpetrator

Many kids have been told not to talk to strangers, but sometimes it’s the people they know who can hurt children the most. 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator and 68% are abused by family members. In America, 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 6 men report experiencing sexual abuse as children. I remember my mother teaching me that the private parts of my body were for me alone. She always said that if anyone made me uncomfortable by touching me, that I should report it to her right away, even if it was my father. Although this was my mother’s strategy, this is not the only way to keep kids safe. Here are some tips to prevent children from becoming victims: Establish firm guidelines around the use of technology. Keep interactions as public as possible and model safe behavior. This applies to websites, email, instant messaging, social networking, and cellphones. Teach children the proper names of...
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