We’re proud to lead and be a part of projects that are making a difference, both locally and abroad, and that share our vision of a world free of sexual violence.
Read about our work and how we’re making a real difference in our communities.
AASAS conducted and published a research study to show the prevalence of sexual abuse within Alberta. The purpose of the study was to provide updated education and statistics to validate and raise awareness of the commonness of sexual violence. The findings demonstrate how many people are impacted, the need for services, and community education.
The study was released in January, 2020 and estimates that 1.8 million current individuals in Alberta have or will experience sexual abuse in their lifetime. This represents about 45% of adult Albertans. The report demonstrates the importance and necessity of support services offered by sexual assault centres.
This was a seven year project starting in 2013 with publication in 2020. CCASA provided sensitivity and support training to Malatest surveyors who interviewed respondents who agreed to participant in the survey because they had experienced sexual violence. CCASA’s Chief Executive Officer was a member of the committee overseeing the study. The committee was involved in the managing the parameters of the study, obtaining approval from the ethics board, and the implementation and public presentation of the study.
About the Research
Most men will never commit a crime of sexual assault in their lifetime, yet the vast majority of sexual assault offenses are committed by men.
2007 Statistics Canada reported that 97% of all sexual assault offenders were men. We realize that sexual assault is a crime that can happen to any one of any gender, race, age, socioeconomic background etc, and that an offender is not characterized by being male – that women offend too. But we also realize that only 3% of sexual assault offenders are female and as such are not targeting that gender on offender accountability in this campaign.
We proudly support the work of the Nairoshi Foundation and sponsor the education of young girls in Kenya, Africa through fundraising of our own.
About the Foundation
The Narioshi Foundation was established to provide interventions to alleviate the plight of children, women and men in difficult circumstances in the local Maasai community. One of the Foundation’s goals is to provide quality accessible education for children. The Narioshi Foundation recognizes that education is one of the most significant ways to bring about change in communities, and through educating parents, religious leaders, community members, family members, etc. on the risks of child marriage and messages of educational opportunity for children and girls not having to be forced and sold into marriage agreements is having a dramatic impact on the lives of young girls.
About the Maasai
A traditional practice in the Maasai communities as well as many other communities within Africa is the sale and/or trade of young girls for livestock. Because of this, girls’ value within their communities is often seen through the lens of an economic gain by what their sale can generate for their families. It is often spoken that “a man with many daughters is very wealthy.” Many children in the Maasai community are unable to attend school due to financial problems; due to the distance and danger involved in getting to and from school; or attend schools that have inadequate and/or minimal resources. On top of that, girls are often pressured to leave school and marry at a young age to help support their families.
CCASA has sponsored the education of three women to attend boarding school to advance their education. Since our sponsorship all three women have successfully graduated from high school. Since then they’ve gone on to be entrepreneurs owning their own business, and attend post-secondary.
Our goal is to look beyond Canada and we have an opportunity to support women in Kenya through the Nairoshi Foundation. We will continue to support women internationally.
Currently women’s representation in economics, politics and decision making is often minimal and consequently globally we are experiencing a significant loss of human development because of gender disparities. Education can decrease the challenges posed by gender gaps and open up significant growth opportunities by reducing them. Educating a girl changes her future, and improves her ability to contribute to the economic life of her community.
CCASA is proud of the work the Narioshi Foundation is doing to support young women in their communities and working towards creating healthier lives and opportunities for them.
I Believe You Campaign
The I Believe You campaign is an initiative led by the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Centres and supported by all sexual assault centres in the province of Alberta, including CCASA. The campaign features the slogans #IBelieveYou and #ArmsOpen
This initiative aimed to demonstrate to anyone who has experienced sexual violence that their community believes them and that any form of sexual violence is not their fault. One of the biggest barriers people have with coming forward to friends, families, service providers, and authorities is a very valid fear of not being believed. Disbelief and victim blaming are common responses when a person discloses instances of sexual violence. Sexual assault centres work towards trying to change the attitudes and beliefs so that people feel supported when they come forward.
The campaign reached nearly 50 million people online and had a positive and successful impact. It demonstrated that the number of Albertans that would give a positive and supportive response to someone who experienced sexual violence went from 21%-78%.
The campaign was active for 3 years from 2015-2018, and is still a part of CCASA’s education and promotion.
CCASA employed this team of young people and supported them to work on various projects to increase awareness of sexual violence and ways they could create positive changes in their community. Projects included poster campaigns, website development and the launch of a men’s engagement program.
CCASA helped to launch the campaign on post-secondary campuses providing education and materials. This led to establishing long term relationships and networks with the campuses, including setting up satellite offices at Mount Royal University and University of Calgary.
The Third Option pilot project started in April 2011. The Third Option offers people who have experienced a sexual assault another choice when deciding whether or not to report to police. Previously, people who had been sexually assaulted within 96 hours had two choices with respect to reporting to police and the collection of any evidence. The first choice was to report the assault to police immediately and upon approval of the police, have evidence collected; the second choice was to not report to the police immediately and not have evidence collected. Both choices included a medical exam by the CSART including CCASA involvement for support if requested. The Third Option provides recent victims of sexual assault with an additional and compassionate reporting choice if they are not willing or able to make a decision as to whether they would like police involvement – collecting forensic evidence and having it stored for a period of up to one year allowing people time to make the reporting decision that is best for them without pressure.
“Giving sexual assault victims more time to make a reporting decision is crucial, as most of these crimes are committed by someone who is known to the victim. That makes it harder for the victim to know what to do. It only makes sense to give people who’ve experienced major trauma time to consider such a decision” says Danielle Aubry, Chief Executive Officer of Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse.
The main goal of the project is to secure any evidence for potential future use should they decide to report to police and provide individuals who have been sexually assaulted additional time to consider the decision to report. Similar programs are available in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia however at the time – in 2011 – Calgary’s program was the first of its kind in Alberta.
CCASA spearheaded this project in collaboration with the Government of Alberta, Calgary Police Services, Crown, Alberta Health Services, and AASAS. CCASA worked directly on this project to change policy, and to implement and manage the program for about seven years before the pilot. Currently, the program is managed by CCASA and Alberta Health Services.
We consider this project a milestone in providing thoughtful and compassionate services to our clients.