LSAS provides individual support to children, youth, adults, and families who have been, directly or indirectly, impacted by sexual violence. Services are offered to all genders, ethnicities, socio-economic status, and age. Clients are assigned to a Crisis Interventionist and will work together for healing and hope. Crisis Interventionists collaborate to support siblings, parents, friends, and other family members as they support their loved ones.
Intervention services are:
- Free of Charge
- Available at LSAS or via Outreach (i.e.: Schools, Mental Health)
- Supportive & Non-Judgemental
- Diverse, Inclusive, Accepting, and Welcoming
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Possible Areas of Need
- Sexual Abuse & Assault (Historical and/or Recent)
- Supporting Family Members and Friends
- Triggers & Flashbacks
- Self-Worth & Acceptance
- Coping Strategies
- Sexual Harassment
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Beliefs & Values
Sexual Behaviour Program
The Sexual Behaviour Program supports children under the age of 12 exhibiting sexual behaviours and their families. This is an intensive program where parent/caregiver involvement is integral to education and healing and meant for children who continue to engage in sexual behaviours. Sessions include a focus on boundaries, feelings identification and alternative coping strategies, beliefs, and values recognition, and more.
Supporting & Responding
With the high prevalence rates of sexual assault and abuse, there might be a time when you respond to a disclosure from a child, youth, or adult. Please reach out if you need extra support; we are here to help. Some ideas to respond effectively are:
Be Supportive: The person who experienced sexual abuse or assault, whether they are a child or an adult, did not do anything wrong. Let them know this is not their fault and there is help available.
Show Gratitude: Thank them for sharing their story with you. Tell them they are brave for telling and reaching out for help.
Assess Safety: Does this person need immediate help? If so, refer to the SART section. Offer to go to a safe place with them assuring your own safety too or visit the RCMP Detachment, LSAS, or the Hospital for additional support.
Reaching Out: Do you suspect that a child is being abused? It takes strength to speak up against child abuse and follow reporting obligations. Children need community support to lend them a voice. Reaching out to report is your way of making a positive change.
In Alberta, anyone under the age of 18 years old is considered a child. In Saskatchewan, anyone under the age of 16 years old is considered a child. With this knowledge, comes the responsibility and obligation to report any suspicion or confirmation of child abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities:
* Lloydminster RCMP Detachment 780-808-8300
* Central Alberta Child & Family Services and Saskatchewan Social Services 306-820-4250
If the child resides outside Lloydminster, you can report to the local RCMP Detachment and Children’s Services agency. We recognize it can be challenging to make this call; please reach out to LSAS for further support and debriefing opportunities. LSAS Crisis Interventionist’s can provide confidential support after you have made a report and may wish to discuss your feelings and experiences. Give yourself care and compassion as you made the best choice for the child by reporting.
Once a report is made, the information is documented and the process of deciding next steps begins. Investigative organizations have internal policies and procedures to follow when opening a case. Referrals for the child and their family might be made to provide extra support during this time.
Child Abuse Defined
Child abuse can be emotionally, physically, or sexually harming a child. This can include neglect where a child does not have access to basic needs, health, love, and wellness. Abuse and neglect negatively impact a child’s daily life and physical well-being. Child abuse is often covert, mixed with confusing experiences of grooming, bribes, exploitation, and exposure.
Possible Signs of Child Abuse
Keep in mind, every child will experience abuse impacts differently. This can make it challenging to know with certainty that abuse is taking place without a disclosure and investigation. The following are POSSIBLE signs there is something the child/youth is struggling with.
* Increased anxiety and fear
* Self-harm and suicidal ideation
* Changes in appearance and clothing
* Isolation and withdrawal from usual activities
* Substance use
* Anger and sadness
* Guilt and shame
* Physical signs (i.e.: marks, bruising, pain)
* Saying things like “I don’t like so-and-so anymore”. Children have interesting ways of disclosing abuse; sometimes it can be shared as matter of fact, other times, it is an accidental slip.
Helpful Questions and Statements for Responding to Disclosures from all ages
When being curious about a child’s disclosure or story, the following questions or statements can be used. Do not ask more than you need to know and do not investigate the situation. You only require enough suspicion that something not okay has taken place to report.
* Tell me more about that.
* And then, what happened?
* Thank you for telling me.
* What does that mean to you?
* Where did you learn that?
* You are so brave for sharing this.
When responding to an adult, you could say some of the above too. Try these ones out to show your care and compassion.
* How can I help?
* What do you need from me in this moment?
* I’m here to listen.
* Take your time. There is no rush.
* I believe you. (link to AASAS’s I Believe You Campaign on their website)
* Would you like to know about some resources to help?
Keep calm and be mindful of your reaction. If you feel a big emotion, let them know what you are feeling but that you are still prepared to be there for them. Avoid asking questions that might convey doubt and just be the listening ear they need.
Possible Impacts of Sexual Violence of Youth and Adults
The following is a list of possible impacts a survivor of sexual violence might experience. The healing journey is unique for every individual. You may experience all, some, or none of the impacts listed here. That does not make your experience less. Your Crisis Interventionist will create a case plan just for you.
* Guilt and shame
* Physical pain or discomfort
* Loss of relationships
* Relationship issues
* Sexual intimacy issues
* Anxiety and depression
* Confused and overwhelmed
Police & Court Support Program
Those referred to LSAS’s Police & Court Support Program are connected with the Court & Community Liaison. This position liaises with key partners in the justice field as clients navigate court preparation and potential trial dates. The Court & Community Liaison, alongside their assigned Crisis Interventionist, provides 6-8 court preparation sessions focused on definition of terms, justice processes, heathy coping strategies, and follow-up care plus any accompaniment and direct, emotional support during court proceedings. Clients are given tools, resources, fidgets, snacks, and activities. Thank you to the Border City Rotary Club for funding the design and development of age-appropriate Court Prep Books filled with knowledge and education for all ages.
Further justice programming and information can be found under the Little Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre and the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).
Encouraging a group to learn and grow together can provide immense healing opportunities and deepen understanding. LSAS Group Programs provide integrated and safe experiences for groups of people to engage. Find out more here!
Providing presentations to various community organizations, schools, and businesses is a great way to increase awareness and build skills. The Community Relations Coordinator can provide you with a list of educational presentations covering topics like Consent, Sexual Harassment, and Exploitation. Trainings and Workshops are also available. For a complete list of options and how to connect, please click here.