Lloydminster Sexual Assault Services’ mission is to improve the individual and communities’ response to violence through education, awareness and strong partnerships. We are committed to supporting the healing of all survivors of sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse and all forms of violence through crisis intervention services, advocacy and empowerment.
Help | Hope | Healing
LSAS strives to foster change by advocating the sensitivity, knowledge and skills to respond to the needs of children, teens, adults and families coping with the trauma of sexual abuse and violence while providing a non-judgmental, comfortable and welcoming environment where clients can feel safe, accepted and believed so that hope can be cultivated and healing can be achieved.
1. We believe survivors are the experts in their own unique healing journey.
2. To continuously develop and deliver programs, services, and best practices when addressing the impacts of sexual violence.
3. We strive to foster change by creating within our community the sensitivity, knowledge, and skills to respond to the needs of children, teens, adults and families coping with the trauma of sexual violence.
4. To network, connect, and liaise within communities to create an awareness of the impacts of sexual violence.
5. As an agency we are committed to addressing and eradicating sexual violence. We are committed to delivering services and supports in a responsive, flexible, caring and professional manner.
6. We believe in help, hope and most importantly healing.
REVISED January 2021
In the early 1980s, a group of concerned community members heard reports of individuals who had experienced sexual assault having to travel to North Battleford, Saskatchewan or Edmonton, Alberta for services. This inspired a change for the Lloydminster community to mobilize local supports for those impacted by sexual violence. Originally named the Lloydminster Sexual Assault and Information Centre, LSAS was incorporated in the Province of Saskatchewan on September 28, 1982 and in the Province of Alberta on November 9, 1982. With the vision of helping adult female survivors, a volunteer crisis line was created and thanks to the North Battleford Sexual Assault Centre and community agencies, LSAS opened their doors on January 1, 1983.
As a grassroots non-profit, LSAS had humble beginnings and provided initial services in the basement of the Dr. Stelmachuck’s building before moving to a small residential house located at 5311-50th Avenue. Fortunately, in 2003 the agency was in the position to financially invest in a home to call their own. Through the generosity and support of Mark Harty and family, the agency purchased the old City Hall building that was property of Harty Developments Ltd. For many years, LSAS only occupied the main floor of the historic 1927 community building and the top two floors were rented as apartments and/or commercial space. The Centre has also been known as a hub for businesses and organizations that included legal representatives, aesthetician services, as well as the Men at Risk Program offered though Alberta Health Services. With the community’s support and awareness of the prevalence of sexual violence in conjunction with services offered by LSAS; the agency began to experience overwhelming demands for programming and resources. With extension of services and expansion of staff the agency grew to occupy the entire building.
Within these walls there is an abundance of history that includes both the initial City Hall and Fire Department, cemented rooms with original wooden doors that lead to city jail cells, a small wooden door that once connected buildings though an underground tunnel which is now filled in with soil, and two antique vaults that were utilized nearly 100 years ago. We truly value the opportunity to maintain and enhance the building we call home as the agency recognizes that this building is an integral part of Lloydminster’s heritage.
Services have grown immensely since the 80’s. Sexual violence is a human issue and impacts all ages, genders, ethnicities, cultures, and socio-economic statuses. LSAS has created a safe and comfortable environment for anyone to access healing and supportive services. Successful partnerships with government funders, community businesses, and partners have allowed LSAS to flourish in a time that is beginning to recognize the prevalence of sexual violence and its interwoven effects on society. Sexual violence is often the root cause for societal issues like homelessness, family violence, mental health, and addiction concerns and is significantly underreported to authorities.
Growing from a volunteer staff to a funded team of dedicated, motivated, and inspiring members has given LSAS the opportunity to embrace innovation and progressive movements to provide best practices and unique healing opportunities. In the mid 2000’s, the team recognized the increase of children under the age of 12 who were exhibiting sexual behaviour concerns. Thus, a program was piloted; however, it was not until 2016 that a successful Sexual Behaviour Program was implemented.
Educational presentations and group programs offered a span of topics such as consent, social media, compassion, bullying, harassment, and self-esteem. The program ensures statistics and engaging content are delivered to children, youth, adults, and professionals. In 2011, LSAS facilitators became licensed to deliver the provincial First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training™ and continue this two-day workshop, among other training opportunities, today.
Not only has LSAS consistently worked to build and maintain services within our own community; we also supported the development of the sexual assault centre in Bonnyville, Alberta in 2011. With the support of the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services, funding provided through Alberta Health Services and guidance from local partners; LSAS began the hiring process, trained qualified staff, shared resources, and secured a confidential satellite office in Cold Lake, Alberta while overseeing daily operations. It truly was an honour to collaborate and coordinate on the Region 7 Sexual Assault Services Pilot Project and witness the transformation that took place in 2014 when a Board of Directors was formed, and the newly named Dragonfly Counselling and Support Centre became its own non-profit organization.
In 2015, LSAS began dreaming of operating a child and youth advocacy centre to expand services offered to children, youth, and families navigating the justice system. From brainstorming the name of the Centre – Little Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre – to engaging students grade 7 to 12 at both LPSD and LCSD to submit a logo drawing, the grassroots of this relevant division were founded. In May 2019, the soft opening of Little Bear invited community partners, funders like the Fred North Charitable Foundation and Ryken Group LTD, staff, volunteers, and families to tour the renovated facility and understand more about each LSAS division. In October 2019, interviews began being conducted on site with collaboration from the Lloydminster RCMP Detachment leading the way. This multi-disciplinary team truly makes positive change in the community.
The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) was established in April 2016 as a part of an Alberta provincial movement to ensure effective support for those who have experienced recent sexual violence when accessing medical services in Emergency Rooms. Though LSAS had been providing hospital accompaniments for years, the structure and Memorandum of Understanding between the partnering organizations was key to ensure collaboration, policies and procedures, and an increase in effective supports for crisis clients.
Advancements in the Police and Court Support Program were a direct result of Alberta provincial advocacy for change in the justice system as it pertains to sexual violence in 2018. The Border City Rotary Club funded new court books for children, youth, adults, and caregivers that were beautifully designed by LSAS and contracted out to Shamille Sarcauga for creative development.
As a result of organizational growth, LSAS services expanded to include Anger Resolution, Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Support, Art and Play Integration, Trauma-Informed Yoga, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This shift in services resulted in a third division of LSAS – North Ryken Enhanced Services. These program expansions directly reflected the complex needs of clients and their families being presented. The recognition of the individual benefits for sexual trauma survivors being safe in their bodies through movement, mindfulness, and yoga was at the forefront of LSAS staff minds as they engaged the community in three consecutive years of Namaste Strong events and fundraising for yoga supplies for clients. LSAS believes in diverse healing opportunities; in addition to trauma-informed yoga practitioners, team members were trained in Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping) as an alternative option for coping. The variety of modalities within LSAS creates space for clients to choose what might fit best for them as they navigate the healing process.
With organizational growth comes a shift in funding initiatives and strategies. Funding roots stem back to the dedication of volunteers and staff, hosting and organizing many events like Bingo nights, barbeques, and awareness walks. An increase in understanding the prevalence of sexual violence and the imperative need to address it led municipal and provincial governments to increase funding specifically for the sexual violence sector. Some of LSAS funding partners have supported the agency for well over a decade! In 2020, LSAS received confirmation of its’ first federal funding grant.
True to LSAS nature, there are ongoing projects and plans. The Reconnection Program is currently being piloted and provides education and insight in reconnecting to the intimate body and relationship with self and others. The early stages of this program are showing positive outcomes for clients to embrace their sexuality and intimate connections. Looking ahead, LSAS is grateful for the support of the Youth Justice Fund, Department of Justice Canada, for their support towards the Collaborative Response to Youth Sexual Offending Project which launched in September 2020. This three-year project will develop a community response to youth who sexually offend and create a Youth Connection Program for youth and families to receive support and education.
Governed by a Board of Directors, supported by the community and surrounding areas, enhanced through citizens and volunteers, LSAS will continue to grow, adapt, research, develop, educate, innovate, support, heal, and strive to meet the needs of every client.
The previous mission of Healthy People, Healthy Communities formed the foundation of LSAS in their support of survivors of sexual violence. The new mission of Help, Hope, & Healing forms our future.