Community Spotlight: Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region

Community Spotlight: SASC

Get to know our regional partner, Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC)

At Shelter Movers Waterloo Region, we work with a number of partner organizations to support families experiencing abuse throughout the region.

One such partner organization is the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC), whose mission is based on using an intersectional feminist approach to transform systems that promote gender-based violence. 

Below, Nicky Carswell, Coordinator, Anti-Human Trafficking, shares more about SASC and the importance of working with Shelter Movers.

Can you share a little bit about SASC’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program?

Utilizing a trauma-informed, harm reduction, and feminist approach, our specialized Anti-Human Trafficking Program provides wrap-around services to those experiencing sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and those who are at risk within Waterloo Region. Services are free, confidential, and non-judgmental. This program is accessible to all genders ages 12 and up and is available regardless of immigration status.

Our services include counselling, crisis intervention, case management, safety planning, system navigation, advocacy, practical assistance, and housing, employment, legal, immigration, and education support, as well as connections to other resources, public education and outreach.  We also provide temporary counselling support to families and loved ones of survivors.

Since 2018, we have supported 240 folks; 50 per cent are children under 18 and 75 per cent  are youth 24 and under.

 

How have you partnered with Shelter Movers on this initiative?

Our team connects with Shelter Movers when a survivor is moving into a new home. Throughout their experience of exploitation, many of our survivors are isolated from loved ones and supports, experience complex trauma, and are fearful moving forward from their situation. We are incredibly grateful for a program such as Shelter Movers to provide this much needed service when folks do not have other options for moving support. 

What are some of the successes achieved through this program?

Survivors are often overwhelmed with moving into their own home and fearful of their transition from high levels of control to independence. The staff and volunteers at Shelter Movers have been very understanding and accommodating which has had a positive impact. Survivors who have accessed this service report kindness, compassion, and that they actually had fun during the move. Wrapping survivors with warm, meaningful support is critical for empowering survivors and increasing success. 

Shelter Movers is looking forward to planning Take Back the Night with SASC later this year. Can you share a little bit about the importance of this event?

Take Back the Night is an annual event in support of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Started in the 1970’s in the United States, the March has become a global phenomenon. Each September we gather in downtown Kitchener to stand in solidarity with survivors and advocate for a community free from violence. Please come out, join us, and show your support for survivors of sexual violence, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Shelter Movers, WE APPRECIATE YOU! 

(We echo the above sentiment and are so grateful for SASC’s ongoing support!)

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