“We’re working to stop sexual, domestic and personal violence and trauma through education, training and advocacy services”
Christina Johnson, Executive Director of the Sanare Centre in Medicine Hat told a compelling story of the extent of violence and trauma in Alberta and indeed Medicine Hat.
Sanare records indicate a 56% increase in the violence and trauma cases they have dealt with, in the post-Covid months, after restrictions were eased.
She shared the shocking statistics that by 18 years of age, 50% of girls will have experienced some form of sexual violence or trauma; the percentage for boys being 25%. The Sanare Centre aims to impact these figures.
Working with the provincial government and the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services sexual assault centres, the well-qualified, dedicated staff and volunteers of the Sanare Centre offer a wide range of individual and group services to support and promote the healing of those who have suffered violence or trauma.
The move to a larger building has enabled the establishment of the Child Advocacy Centre, the first of its kind in southeast Alberta. The CAC brings together staff and officials from Sanare, Alberta Children’s Services, Alberta Health Services, Addictions and Mental Health, MH Police Service and RCMP, as well as judicial officers, in an effort to streamline the legal and judicial process for children and youth impacted by abuse and violence.
Included on the Sanare staff is a new team member. Meet Sarabi, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix and see where she hangs out in the Centre!
The Sanare Centre also offer services of an educational, primary preventive nature, and they do advocacy work in the field of sexual, domestic and personal violence and trauma.
Preventive, education programs include: Family Connections, programs for Grades K-6, for ages 12 and up, for students at Junior High School, for Senior High School level, as well as programs for adults e.g. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace; and Child Sexual Behaviours.
It is encouraging to know that Sanare’s outreach services include a Men and Boys leadership program.
The Centre needs an elevator! Staff member Kelsey is focusing on raising funds for this addition to what is a very interestingly laid out Centre, with many rooms, small and bigger, for staff, for private conversations and therapy, including play therapy for children, and rooms for group meetings of different kinds. Keep an eye open for ways to support Sanare’s ‘Rise the children’ campaign!
In just a short hour, Christina, her staff and a psychology student succeeded in giving our members a window into the nature and prevalence of violence and trauma in Medicine Hat and further afield, and into the wide-range of services offered to reduce the numbers and intervene at a primary preventive level. Since July 2021, Sanare has served more than 90 children in the region. All respect to the team for the work that they do.
Read more about the Sanare Centre on their website:https://sanarecentre.ca