We Believe: Let's Move Forward Together

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thank you to everyone who helped make our 2018 fundraising gala, We Believe: Let’s Move Forward Together, the incredible evening that it was. Since our inaugural fundraising gala five years ago, each year’s event has been bigger and better than the last and 2018’s We Believe: Let’s Move Forward Together was no exception.

From the beginning, the We Believe Gala has been about community; recognizing those within Edmonton who are champions of SACE; rallying together to show survivors of sexual violence that we believe and support them; and focusing on how we can move forward together in order to prevent sexual violence from happening within our communities. Although there is still much work to be done, this event was dedicated to celebrating how far we have come, and inspiring hope for how much further we can go in the future. We are so grateful to the incredible performers, Karimah, Lady Vanessa and Nasra Adem, our live painter, Amanda Schutz, and keynote speaker, Tarana Burke, who left us with messages of determination, strength and community connection.

We were humbled by the overwhelming show of support that we received yet again this year. The room was filled with nearly 500 of our community partners, funders, clients, volunteers and friends and family. We are grateful to everyone who was able to attend, as well as those who contributed to the success of the event in other ways, through their volunteerism, with silent auction donations, and generous sponsorships.

Together we were able to raise over $70,000, all of which will go directly to supporting SACE programs such as individual and group counselling, public education, and our 24-Hour Support & Information Line.

We Are Hiring

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Communications Coordinator, Community Engagement

This is a full-time position under the supervision of the Director of Community Engagement and Director of Communications and Development. All work at the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE) will reflect the Mission Statement and philosophical beliefs of the organization. The Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE) is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that supports children, adolescents, and adults who have experienced sexual abuse or assault, and educates the public about sexual violence. We offer a friendly and warm work environment and are looking for someone in this position to work weekly Monday – Thursday. Flexibility to work weekday evenings and weekends is a requirement.

Responsibilities include:

  • Coordination and maintenance of SACE social media accounts as part of a team
  • Ongoing content development for SACE website, social media, and print materials
  • Writing and editing (grants, social media, educational content, copywriting, short articles)
  • Administration (funding databases, donor stewardship, digital file management)
  • Fundraising coordination (social media acknowledgements, database tracking)
  • Light design (Adobe Creative Suite and online program called Canva, working with templates and small edits)
  • Public relations administration (tracking media coverage, preparing news releases, creating media kit)
  • Event coordination and support (support of annual gala and other fundraising/agency events)
  • Development and maintenance of a quarterly newsletter
  • Support through the 24-Hour Support and Information Line (training will be provided as part of the SACE Volunteer Program)

Minimum Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in humanities, social work, education, communications, public relations, or related education or experience
  • Familiarity with databases and with Microsoft Office
  • Strong writing skills for a variety of mediums and audiences
  • Strong listening, empathy, and support abilities
  • An eye for design and detail
  • Experience in fund development, event planning, website management, social media management, design, and/or database management

The ideal candidate:

  • Is familiar with the issue of sexualized violence and with feminist approaches to support and violence prevention
  • Is familiar with anti-oppression principles and practices
  • Is able to work and develop relationships with a wide range of people, both within and outside of the organization, in collaborative, consultative, and/or support capacities
  • Is a self-starter with research, project, and time management skills
  • Is creative and innovative in developing new and unique ways to improve the communications and development program and create new opportunities

Interested candidates are asked to submit a cover letter outlining why you think you are the right candidate for this position, along with a resume and 3 professional references. We also invite submissions of writing or design samples. Resumes submitted without a cover letter will not be considered.

SACE is committed to hiring practices that support diversity, equity and inclusion. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. We encourage First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to a diversity of ideas and practice at the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, to apply.

Closing Date: July 11, 2018 (interviews in late July)

Negotiable Position Start Date: August 15, 2018

To Apply: Please send resume and cover letter to info@sace.ca OR mail to SACE, Attn: Selection Committee – Communications Coordinator

We thank all who apply; only those selected to be interviewed will be contacted.

A New Look at SACE

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

In the Spring of 2016, SACE embarked on a new journey. After over 40 years in the community, we were at an identity crisis point. We were seeing more demand for consultation, we were finding the need to grow and evolve more quickly with new programs and initiatives, and there were more conversations in the media and through social media than ever before. At the same time, we were finding that some of our materials weren’t resonating as much as they could- our website was wordy and hard to navigate and update, our brochures and info sheets wordy and out of date, and especially within Public Education there was a call for information to be made more visual. We were also navigating where and how social media fits in the picture for SACE. In short, we were facing a lot of change, and we needed to check in with ourselves about who we wanted to be and where we wanted to go.

To navigate these questions and more, SACE decided to undergo a brand refresh. We didn’t need to start from scratch—there’s a lot we think we were doing right. We needed to take stock and value our roots, but also take some of those core beliefs and ways of doing this work that date back as far as 1975, and bring them into the context of today. We needed a facelift, a pulse-taking, a lot of checking in, and a bit of a shuffle to be intentional about where and how we’re changing, and not just reactive.

We had the will, but the next part was the means. We absolutely would not have been able to do this right without the support of the Edmonton Community Foundation. They’ve come through for us many times over the years, but we are so grateful that they saw the importance of this process to create the most accessible, engaging, considered, and most importantly useful resources we could to support our clients and the Edmonton community.

2 years later, we’re ready to share. And we hope you like what we’ve done! As much as we’ve gone from the foundation up and are seeing changes everywhere from our programs, titles, and internal processes to keep ourselves accountable and evolving, a lot of what you’ll notice most is in our new website and print materials. What we have now is just the beginning, we’ll continue to grow these resources, but we couldn’t wait to start using them. We wanted our materials to feel friendly, safe, and be as accessible as possible. Most importantly, we wanted to make sure every piece reflects the most up-to-date and considered sexual violence support and prevention information we can provide.

We invite you to explore our new website and materials as they are released throughout 2018 and let us know what you think—but this is only the beginning. As much as we’re proud of where we’ve landed, our hope is to keep these conversations going and continue to evolve our materials to meet the needs of our community. If you have a question, concern, or idea for how SACE can improve, call or email us at info@sace.ca.

Supporters’ Night

Monday, April 30, 2018

The impacts of sexual violence are far reaching. At SACE, we appreciate the varied sources of support that impact a person’s healing journey. Empowering supporters is a way of building community capacity to listen, believe, and support the people in our lives who experience sexual violence.

To help with this, once a month SACE hosts a free 2-hour information session for people who are supporting friends or loved ones aged 18 and over through their healing journey. These sessions equip supporters with a strong understanding of trauma impacts, best approaches to providing support, and a familiarity with SACE services and other important resources. These sessions are available to everyone no matter whether you are supporting someone who is a client of SACE, receiving support elsewhere, or someone who is not connected to any formal resources.

Community Partnership | SAVEdmonton

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A value that SACE holds dear is that collaboration with community members is an essential part of encouraging and upholding a culture of consent. Since 2010, SACE has had the privilege of being part of Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton (SAVE), a non-profit organization comprised of community members, agencies, and police.

SAVE develops collaborative, evidence-based campaigns that place responsibility on perpetrators of sexual assault, raise awareness, challenge myths, and fight victim-blaming. SAVE's inaugural and most well-known campaign, "Don't Be That Guy," (pictured here) was targeted at men between the ages of 18 - 24 and focused on alcohol-facilitated sexual assault. This campaign was informed by local statistics that alcohol is the most commonly used rape drug with 40% of all reported sexual assaults indicating its use, primarily by men as a means to incapacitate women.

As current SAVE Board Members, Stephanie Olsen (Major Initiatives and Strategic Partnerships, SACE) and Sara Cameron (Communications and Development, SACE) continue to be involved in this impactful approach to community engagement in sexual violence prevention.

Be Your Own Man

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Edmonton needs more violence prevention programming for boys. This statement has been echoed among violence prevention advocates for at least the last decade. Be Your Own Man is SACE’s solution to this problem.

Be Your Own Man (BYOM) launched in February 2017 at four Edmonton schools. The program was designed to be delivered as one-hour weekly sessions for 16 weeks. This is more difficult in practice, but school staff have worked hard to meet needs of the program as best as possible. It’s been delivered in flex blocks, where students have a number of options to choose from. At one school it was delivered over the lunch break. At another, in health class. No matter the format, we spend the next few months with the Canadian Red Cross’s Healthy Youth Relationships curriculum, where the youth think about and discuss healthy and unhealthy relationships; learn about emotional, physical, and sexual violence; and gain communication and conflict resolution skills they can use to prevent violence. All the while the boys are encouraged to build stronger relationships with each other, practice empathy, and challenge pervasive messages about what it means to be a man.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention searched across the U.S. for violence prevention programs to recommend to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, they could only name two. This wasn’t because the majority of programs aren’t effective, but because they lack rigorous evaluation to determine whether they are or not. We’d all like to assume violence prevention initiatives prevent violence—but what happens when they don’t? BYOM is being evaluated to ensure we’re achieving the goals we set to meet, chief among them changing both long-term attitudes and behaviours toward gendered violence.

To help ensure SACE achieves its goals with BYOM, we’re applying the available research in violence prevention initiatives, especially that conducted by Calgary’s SHIFT: The Project to End Domestic Violence. We’re grateful for the financial support of the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Community and Social Services, without which BYOM could not exist. We are enthused about the potential positive impacts of this program and will provide updates as we’re able.

Mission Possible: The Business of Giving

Thursday, January 18, 2018

During the Fall semester of 2017, Keltie Gower, a professor at MacEwan University, approached SACE about a unique project she had in mind for the students in her introductory business class: create a business, choose a local charity to support, go! The businesses sold a range of products and services, including bracelets, handmade scarves, and ringtones.

Since this project was introduced, students have gone on to surpass expectations in the financial support they generated, raising an impressive total of $12,368.08 for SACE. We are honoured to be one of the three local charities included in these projects alongside Boyle Street Community Services and The Enactus Entrepreneurship Fund. Thank you to MacEwan University, the professors who organized the project, and the students of Introduction to Sustainable Business 201 for your support!


Friday, December 15, 2017

In September of 2017, SACE started an exciting new project. In partnership with John D. Bracco Junior High School and funded in part by the Edmonton Public Teachers Charity Trust Fund, the Mobile Counsellor Program was created.

Once a week, SACE Child and Youth Counsellor Morgan Bissegger travels to John D. Bracco Junior High School to meet individually with students who have previously disclosed experiencing sexual abuse. The program began as a pilot project at the school led by Principal Jillian Marino, who saw a great need for this kind of support: the school had been receiving an average of two disclosures per week. Due to barriers to accessing counselling at SACE offices, including stigma, the need to book during school hours, and transportation, it was recognized that there were many students who were effectively prevented from accessing these essential support services.

Without support, childhood sexual abuse can lead to mental and physical health issues both immediately and into adulthood. This doesn't have to be the case, however: studies show that when young people receive a supportive response to their disclosure and get the help they need to heal, most go on to lead healthy and productive lives.

Having a counsellor from SACE in the school every week means that students who have experienced sexual abuse can receive the support they need without the barrier of travelling to SACE. In addition to direct support from Bissegger, advocacy for students and education for staff around the best way to support each unique youth increases connection to the school and contributes to an overall increase in emotional safety for students when at school.

Marino is not alone in recognizing the need for specialized support. Nine additional schools have indicated that they would like to see this program in their schools. This partnership with John D. Bracco Junior High School is a first step in reducing barriers to Edmonton students accessing essential support and it would not be possible without the generous financial support of Edmonton Public Teachers Charity Trust Fund. We can't wait to see this program grow!


Friday, October 27, 2017

September 2017 marked the third year that SACE staff and volunteers eagerly participated in the province-wide #IBelieveYou campaign, created and organized by the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS). The campaign was created to increase awareness of the best way to respond to someone who discloses an experience of sexual assault: I believe you.

This year's #IBelieveYou theme, Add Your Voice, called on Albertans to share words of support for people impacted by sexual trauma; whether it was through messages on the graffiti walls or posts through social media, we are proud of Edmontonians' contributions to spreading the #IBelieveYou message.

Several Edmonton postsecondary institutions hosted SACE booths for the campaign, including Concordia University of Edmonton, The King's University, MacEwan University, NAIT, and Norquest College. We are grateful for these institutions and their dedication to supporting the #IBelieveYou campaign!

Chicks with Cheques and 100 Men YEG

Friday, September 15, 2017

We are endlessly impressed by the fundraising initiatives of our community. This past year, SACE participated in a fundraising competition hosted by Chicks with Cheques and 100 Men YEG. We were humbled and overjoyed to be selected as that quarter's winner, and at the generous contributions of the members of these groups. The generosity of this fundraising initiative is all the more impactful for the time that was spent by these numerous community members in allowing us to share information about our services and provide a better understanding of how the issue of sexual violence impacts our community.

The donation SACE received has gone towards improving our Play, Art, and Movement Therapy program offerings, which support people of all ages who access our Child and Youth as well as Adult Counselling services. Giving clients a space where they can reclaim their creativity and ability to play can be incredibly therapeutic, and can even help those that are “stuck” in their therapy to move forward.

At SACE we know that people can and do heal. The first step is to listen, to believe, and to support. By extending the support SACE is able to provide with enhanced creative approaches, people who have experienced sexual violence have one more avenue to be able to process what they have experienced. The change we see in the individuals who have received support is something that extends much further than those individuals, to their families, loved ones, and communities: it benefits everyone.