- What are CCASA’s office hours?
- Where is CCASA located?
- How do I get an appointment at CCASA?
- Are appointments completely confidential?
- How much does counselling cost?
- Who can come to CCASA for counselling?
- How do I become involved with CCASA?
- How do I donate to CCASA?
- Are there any job opportunities at CCASA?
- Does CCASA have a Student Placement Program?
- How can I obtain CCASA Brochures?
About Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault
- What is sexual assault?
- What are common reactions to sexual assault?
- What do I do if I have been sexually assaulted?
- What do I do when someone I know has been sexually assaulted?
- What is Child Sexual Abuse?
- What to do if a child tells you they have been or are being sexually abused:
- How do I report child abuse?
- What is drug-facilitated sexual assault?
- Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault in Lesbian and Bisexual Relationships
What are CCASA’s office hours?
Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday, Sunday and Statutory Holidays: Closed
Both the CCASA Support and Information Line (403-237-5888) and the Toll Free Support and Information line (1-877-237-5888) are available 7 days a week.
CCASA schedules daytime counselling appointments. However, there are typically some requests for evening sessions and to accommodate we also book Tuesday evening appointments.
Where is CCASA located?
7th Floor, 910 7th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 3N8
There are various parking structures located around the Northland building. To view a map of parking areas near the building please follow this link:
How do I get an appointment?
CCASA offers free individual counselling services to individuals 12 years old and older who have been sexually assaulted or sexually abused. Friends, family, or any person supporting a survivor of sexual violence may also access free counselling. To book an appointment, call 403-237-5888 Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm (A few questions will be asked and your appointment will be booked). On your first visit we ask that you come 15 minutes early. Appointments are 1 hour long. We ask that you let us know if you need to cancel or rebook your time so that we may use that time to help others in crisis. Counselling sessions are primarily offered in English. If not, arrangements can be made for an interpreter if needed.
Are appointments completely confidential?
Attending counselling at CCASA is private.
- No personal information will be given to anyone outside of CCASA unless you give written permission to your counsellor. The type of information you want released, who to release it to, and the reason you want it to be released will be discussed with you. The agency has a form you must fill out and sign before your information can be released. These are in place to ensure we protect your privacy.
- Your counsellor may wish to discuss your counselling with their supervisor or other counselling team members to make certain they are providing you with the best service possible. This will be discussed with you beforehand.
- Your cousellor may ask your permission to video or audiotape your session for supervision reasons. These possibilities will be discussed with you at the time and will only be done with your consent.
Information that cannot be kept confidential and may be released without your permission:
- You tell your counsellor that a child (person under 18 years) or a dependent adult has been or may be emotionally, physically, or sexually abused, or who is being neglected. We are legally bound to report this information to the appropriate authorities.
- You tell your counsellor that you plan to harm yourself or someone else. Your counsellor may need to call the appropriate authorities (example: police, EMS) or warn the person you wish to harm.
- CCASA receives a subpoena for your file from the legal system. Should that happen, we will protect the file and your privacy to the best of our ability. We will try to inform you of the subpoena, and refer you to legal counsel.
- If you were attending counselling by order of a court of law with a requirement to release information to the court.
How much does counselling cost?
CCASA offers free individual counselling services. There is a small fee for group counselling based on a sliding fee scale. Any circumstances that make fee payment difficult, please discuss with your counsellor.
Who can come to CCASA for counselling?
CCASA books appointments for anyone affected by the various forms of sexual abuse and sexual assault, for people of all colour, race, ability, sexual orientation, religion, education, socio-economic status, or gender. This includes friends, family and other people who would like to support the survivor. The various forms of sexual abuse and sexual assault include sexual harassment, date rape, sexual abuse (including past abuse), rape etc. during any time in their lives.
How do I become involved with CCASA?
How do I donate to CCASA?
Visit our Donate section for details.
Are there any job opportunities at CCASA?
Job opportunities are listed on this site in News, Events and Employment whenever a position opens.
To view CCASA’s employment page please visit: Employment.
Does CCASA have a Student Placement Program?
CCASA works with accredited institutions to provide students in the field of social work, counselling or other areas related to the organization’s work an opportunity to gain valuable practical experience. CCASA’s commitment in this area enhances the programs offered at our local post-secondary education institutions, augments the students’ professional career and contributes to the specialized training of soon to be professionals in an area of specialty that affects thousands of people in Canada each year. CCASA also gains tremendously by having students in the work environment. If you are interested in completing a Student Placement at CCASA, please send your cover letter and resume to email@example.com with the following information clearly noted:
- Accredited institution you attend
- Year of program
- Placement term – include time frame that this would transpire in (ie. January-April and Year)
- Degree or diploma enrolled in
- Area that you are specifically interested in (ie. community development work, counselling, research or education)
- Qualifications required by your practicum supervisor (ie. BA, BSW, MSW)
**Please note that we cannot accommodate a practicum where a Chartered Psychologist or a social worker on the clinical registry is required to supervise**
We thank all applicants for their interest however only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.
How can I obtain CCASA brochures?
CCASA has a number of different information brochures that we can send out
- CCASA Agency
- Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault Survivor Services
- What to do (when someone you know has been sexually assaulted)
- Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)
- Police And Court Education and Support (P.A.C.E.S.)
- CCASA Agency Card
- CCASA Student Service Card
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request brochures.
About Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is a crime of violence, not passion. It is about using sex as a weapon to gain power over another person, to hurt, dominate, humiliate, and control. All forms of sexual behavior wherein a person is forced, tricked, or coerced into sexual acts without their consent or is left feeling violated sexually are included within the definition of sexual violence.
What are common reactions to sexual assault?
If someone is assaulted, they may be experiencing:
- Problems with sleeping
- Problems with eating
- Physical symptoms (injuries, nausea, headaches)
- Recurring thoughts about the assault, “what if?” scenarios
If someone is assaulted, they may be feeling:
- Emotional numbness
These feelings are NORMAL. It is important to note that this list of feelings is not limited. Someone who is assaulted may experience other feelings that are not listed. All of these reactions are common and normal. It is important that the individual receive support and information to reduce the isolating effects of sexual violence.
What do I do if I have been sexually assaulted?
If you are being abused you need to know:
- You are not to blame for the violence.
- You do not deserve to be abused.
- You have a right to live without fear.
- You cannot control the abuser’s behaviour.
- Abuse always gets worse over time.
Do not blame yourself. What you experienced is not your fault, it is the offenders fault. Nobody deserves to be sexually assaulted.
Seek medical attention. It is important to see a doctor and get checked for the possibility of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases or other physical injuries you may have suffered as a result of the sexual assault. Calgary has a 24-hour Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) which is a collaborative partnership between CCASA, Alberta Health Services – Calgary Region, Calgary Police Service, area RCMP, and the Crown Prosecutor’s office. This crisis response team provides specialized care to individuals who have been sexually assaulted within the past 96 hours. The service is available through the Sheldon Chumir and the Alberta Children’s Hospital. The team will travel to other hospitals when required.
Note: If more than 96 hours have passed since the sexual assault, there are other options for medical attention available, please contact the CCASA support and information line at 403-237-5888 for more information.
If you choose to report the sexual assault to the police you may choose to be examined in order to collect evidence.
Decide if you want to report the sexual assault to the police. If you want the police involved, you will be asked to make a statement to police outlining the details of the sexual assault.
The police will investigate your complaint, and decide if there is enough evidence to pursue with charges.
If you choose to go to the Sheldon Chumir Hospital, the following CSART professionals will see you:
- A female doctor and nurse trained in sexual assault care will examine and treat you for injuries, provide you with STI and pregnancy testing, and follow up with results. They will also collect forensic evidence if you choose to report to the police or collect forensic evidence and have it stored for up to a year if you choose the Third Option. The Third Option offers victims of sexual assault another choice when deciding whether or not to report a sexual assault to police. Previously victims who attended a hospital within 96 hours after being sexually assaulted had the options of collecting evidence and reporting the crime against them to police immediately or choosing not to have evidence collected and released to police. The Third Option pilot project provides recent victims of sexual assault with an additional and compassionate reporting choice – collecting forensic evidence and having it stored for a period of up to one year allowing survivors time to make the reporting decision that is best for them without pressure.
You may also choose to speak with:
- A crisis counsellor from Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse who will provide you with information about common reactions to sexual assault and recovery, assess your needs, inform you of reporting options, provide you with referrals, and follow up with you if you choose.
Be patient with your recovery. You may go through several different emotions after the sexual assault. Give yourself permission to take the time needed to heal. The healing may take days or years… be patient with yourself.
Get Counselling. There are several places to go for counselling. At CCASA we provide free short-term emotional support to those who have been sexually abused or assaulted. We also offer counselling to those who know someone who has been sexually assaulted, as well as referrals to other agencies.
What do I do when someone I know has been sexually assaulted?
CCASA recognizes that the trauma of sexual assault affects not only the survivor, but also their friends, family and partners. If someone you know has been sexually assaulted, we hope that you find this information useful.
How you can help a survivor:
Believe Them. Believe what they tell you and make sure they know what happened is not their fault. Recognize that the person who was sexually abused is not to blame. Only the offender(s) should be held responsible for the assault. No matter what, no one asks for it or deserves to be sexually assaulted.
Be Supportive Sexual Assault can be devastating. The survivor will need time to adjust. Respect their physical and emotional boundaries and acknowledge their fears. Time may be required to build up a healthy sense of safety again. Do not pressure them to make decisions, or make decisions for them. Support what they decide to do after the assault.
Be Understanding Understand that their lack of tears or anger does not mean that they do not feel the emotional trauma. Initial shock is normal. The emotions may take time to surface. Also understand that it is more important to talk about how they are feeling than the details of the assault.
Be Encouraging Offer to help connect them to whatever services they request. Avoid pressuring them into doing anything they are not ready to do, even if it is what you think is best for them. Give them choices and let them choose.
How you can help yourself:
Ensure that your anger is in no way directed at the survivor. All blame should be placed on the offender. Your outrage at sexual assault is healthy. Find safe ways to vent without creating more victims.
Crying over the trauma is also normal. However, excessive grieving in front of the survivor will make them feel responsible for you. Get support for yourself as well.
Understanding the feelings of the survivor, does not mean you have to take responsibility for their feelings. You must deal with your own feelings around the assault.
Just as the survivor is not responsible for the assault, neither are you. Feelings of despair can be intense if your worst fear for them has just become a reality.
Other things you can do:
- Stay positive and know you too will heal in time.
- Don’t try to find a reason for what happened.
- Educate yourself on sexual violence.
- Know how to and recognize when to seek professional help.
Initially, the survivor may not want to see you. This may be due to humiliation they feel and not because you have done anything wrong. It may also be because they blame themselves for the attack. Do not force care onto them. Be available when they are ready to reach out to you.
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
The Child, Youth, and Family Enhancement Act defines child sexual abuse as follows:
“A child under 18 years of age is sexually abused if he/she is inappropriately exposed or subjected to sexual contact, activity or behaviour, including prostitution related activities.”
Statistics show that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by age 18. Information about sexual abuse will help you become more comfortable with the issue and addressing it with your child. When children have information about sexual abuse they may learn to be assertive in reacting to any inappropriate sexual behaviours of adults or other children or youth. Although sexual abuse can be difficult to discuss, such a discussion may also increase the child’s ability to talk about child sexual abuse and recognize that it is never a child’s fault.
What to do if a child tells you they have been or are being sexually abused:
- Remain calm – anger you feel, if expressed, will often frighten the child.
- Believe the child – do not judge the child.
- Talk in a private and safe place.
- Tell the child it is not his or her fault.
- Ask open-ended questions, not leading questions (i.e. do not ask yes or no questions) Let the child tell you the information (e.g. “Can you tell me who did this?”).
- Do not probe for details of the abuse.
- Let the child know you will try to help them.
- Support the child and get support for yourself.
- Do not confront the abuser.
- Report the abuse to Children’s Services or the police.
The child may not be able to tell you directly about sexual abuse. They may not have the vocabulary, may be frightened or may have been threatened not to tell anyone. The child’s attempt to discuss the abuse may be indirect or vague: For example, “I don’t like it when the babysitter tickles me” or “I don’t want to visit my grandma and grandpa anymore.” Take the time to gently investigate the reasons behind their statement.
Every adult is responsible by law to report a suspected case of child abuse. A report is not an accusation.
How do I report child abuse?
Every adult is responsible by law to report a suspected case of child abuse. A report is not an accusation.
Alberta Family and Social Services
297-2995 (24 hrs.)
Calgary Police Services – Child Abuse Unit
403-266-1234 (24 hrs.)
403-268-8390 (bus. hrs.)
Child Abuse Hotline
What is drug-facilitated sexual assault?
Drug facilitated sexual assault is when someone gives “drugs” to another person in order to make it easier to sexually assault them. Drugs refers to any substance that inhibits a person’s ability to understand what is happening to them and to say no. Perpetrators often use drugs when committing the assault in order to ensure the victim cannot fight back. Some drugs commonly referred to as “date rape drugs” are Ketamine (Special K), GHB, Rohypnol, Burundanga (Scopalamine), but the most prevalent date rape drug is alcohol.
Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault in Lesbian and Bisexual Relationships
- There is often fear among lesbian and bisexual women that open discussion about abuse will generate even broader negative images about the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered community.
- Lesbian and bisexual women are less likely to use important resources (shelters, medical services, counselling) because they are afraid of negative judgements from professionals.
- The lesbian and bisexual community is small; therefore a woman is likely to run into her abuser more often. This could create a greater safety risk for the survivor.
- The assumption is often made that women interact in a caring and supportive manner and therefore cannot be abusers.
Someone who is experiencing sexual abuse in a lesbian or bisexual relationship may feel:
- Afraid to tell anyone. She might feel particularly alone or isolated if her friends or family do not know or do not accept that she is a lesbian or bisexual.
- Depressed or humiliated.
- Afraid she has failed in her relationship.
- Guilty about leaving her partner or scared of coping alone.
- Furious that her partner could do or say what she did.
- Confused because sometimes her partner is loving and kind.
- Blame herself for the violence.
- Feel anxious and tense.
- Have low energy.
- Have difficulty sleeping.
- Experience changes in appetite.