Feb 22nd is Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Written by: LP Penner, SARAH Counsellor

In Canada, we mark February 22, as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. It is a week after Valentine’s because sex trafficking and beliefs around romance are more related than we might think. Valentine’s day is often seen as a day for big gestures, expression of love and stories of fairy tales. In sex trafficking situations often, a romantic partner starts by love bombing to put someone in a spell of being seen, spoiled and connected before exploiting them. We are taught to imagine human trafficking as kidnapping and far away, but it happens here. 90% of Canada’s Sex Trafficking Victims are Canadian (Source: It starts off seeming romantic when it’s anything but.

Love bombing: is a way of manipulating someone to trusting and believing in the relationship fast. It can include lavish gifts that no is not an acceptable answer to. It may be non-stop compliments and convincing you that you are soulmates or no one else could be your person. It can also slowly build to constant connection, lots of texts, phone calls, video chats and every free moment together, and not respecting boundaries.

Steps of sex trafficking:


First someone is going to put in the work to attract the person they want to exploit. This can include finding them online or “happening” to meet in person or even through friends or loved ones. They then act like they are just getting to know someone but are testing to see if they can push boundaries or if the person might be vulnerable. Vulnerabilities include anything that might mean connection and being seen are going to be extra important for someone, like “no one gets me” or having gone through the system and not felt helped. They know that love bombing is more likely to be effective. Note, no one is immune from wanting connection


This can look like building a relationship or a life together. It is steps taken to build trust and tie someone to you. Someone might make commitments, so the person feels like “we’re in this together” or start using drugs together so problematic substance use keeps you connected.

Coercion and Manipulation

This is where behaviour starts to change and can feel scarier. All the information gained in the luring and grooming stages are used against the person to make money off them. They may point out the previous gifts or the money spent and say they are owed the money made from selling sex. They may use abusive behaviours to make selling sex and giving them the money feel like (or simply be) the only option to survive and/or stay connected to this intense relationship. They may also make friends, family and helping services feel scary so someone won’t reach out. They could also work hard to make the person believe they are tainted forever by the actions they were manipulated into doing.

Once someone is lured, groomed and coerced it is almost impossible to feel like there are ways out of the exploitation. Yet, people have survived and been able to find healing.

Options for helping someone once they are being trafficked can feel heartbreaking but can be simple.

  1. Don’t try to rescue them
    As almost every choice is removed by the trafficker having someone barge in and try to save the day actually looks the same as the first stages of trafficking. This can push someone further away from exit, increase risk with their trafficker and be retraumatizing. Instead, it is important to offer support and options to the victim.
  2. Be patient and non-judgmental
    When being manipulated and abused someone is unlikely to see the same choices we see when not involved. Being patient and open can be a way to show them more choices without it feeling like manipulation.
  3. Be a safe person
    After being taught over and over that everyone else is unsafe, every little bit of proof that this is wrong makes a difference. Try to hide shock as they story tell and focus on projecting safety and compassion. Trauma teaches us to be good at reading people and not to share things if it feels unsafe or like the person can’t handle it.
  4. Have boundaries and stick to them
    It may be tempting to do everything in your power to be helpful but that can lead to burn out, having a consistent person makes a big difference, feeling like a helper did everything they could to help and couldn’t handle it hurts.

Labour trafficking happens here in Canada too.

Some questions to ask if you are concerned about someone else’s job or your own.

  • Does the job offer seem too good to be true?
  • Are there threats of deportation or calling police about immigration status?
  • Does the employer hold passports or other personal identification?
  • Does it feel like loved ones would be in danger if long hours aren’t worked or lower wages aren’t accepted?
  • Does the job require relocation without upfront payment?
  • Are the work conditions inhumane or terrible?
  • (Source: Public Safety Canada)

Human Trafficking Resources:

Manitoba Trafficking Hotline:


National Human Trafficking Hotline:


RCMP Manitoba Dispatch: 204-983-5420 or 911


Sex Trafficking Resources:

Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre

Presenting at a IERHA hospital or RCMP detachment and requesting a SARAH Worker.

SARAH Workers –  are trained advocates that provide support 24/7 to individuals reporting a historical or recent sexual assault at RCMP detachments and emergency departments.

SARAH Counselling and Support Program. Provides on-going one-one-one counselling and support groups for those affected by sexual violence. Call the office at 204-753-5353 or email LP at or Candice at for more information.

Sage House

Sage House, a program of Mount Carmel Clinic, is a health, outreach and resource centre that provides a wide variety of services to street-involved women (including transgender women). Staff members at Sage House provide support, resources and advocacy regarding education, addictions treatment, EIA, housing, child and family services, justice and harm reduction. Programs and workshops, facilitated by staff and peers, are also available.

Sage House also has a street outreach team that connects with women currently working in the sex trade, providing harm reduction services, crisis intervention and support.

Velma’s House

An initiative led by Ka Ni Kanichihk, in collaboration with the 24/7 Safe Space Planning Committee, which consists of: Manitoba MMIWG2S+ Coalition of Families, the Lived Experience Advisory Committee, Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre, End Homelessness Winnipeg, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre and the West Central Women’s Resource Centre.

The space is named in honor of Velma Orvis, who worked closely with the community until her passing in 2020. It is our hope that the space embodies the unconditional love which Velma showed to everyone she met.

Velma’s House is a place of safety, comfort and connection for all women. It is low barrier, meaning there is no need to be sober to access services, which include:

Access to traditional medicines, elders, ceremony, and cultural ways of healing
Hot meals, to-go lunches, water, tea, coffee
A safe place to rest, warm up or cool down
Hygiene and harm reduction supplies
Laundry and shower facilities
Emergency clothing
Extensive support with employment, housing, and navigating systems such EIA and CFS
Drop In: 154 Sherbrook Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Weekends 1pm to 8pm
Isabel Daniels, Program Coordinator:, 204-560-3008
Anisha Saddler, Support Worker:, 204-560-3007 (main line)
Please direct potential funding opportunities or financial donations to:
Amy Graham, Project Manager:

Dream Catchers:

Weekly support group for women leaving the sex trade
Call Kim at 204-226-9138
(Note due to COVID 19 intake is temporarily closed)

Winnipeg Police Counter Exploitation Unit

These are plain clothed officers (not in uniform) whose priority is the safety and wellbeing of those involved in the sex trade. Their focus is on connecting those selling sex to resources and arresting those buying sex.
Call: 204-986-6250

Family Violence Shelters:

Manitoba Family Violence Crisis line – By calling the crisis line you will be connected to a shelter closest to you. The Crisis line is available 24/7, they are a resource for all genders, and can answer questions even if someone is not ready to leave.

Religious Organizations:

Some of the resources can be excellent for staying hidden from a pimp or exploiter but as some folks experiencing sex trafficking may have religious trauma it is important to see if a religious organization would feel safer or less safe before going over those resources.

If Christianity feels right for the survivor the following Christ Centered organizations may be helpful in hiding and healing:

Dignity House – is a ministry support for women exiting the sex trade.
Application to be a resident:
Phone: 1-855-812-0136
Inner City Women’s Ministries – “Women of Faith” offering shelter in very hidden location, Bible Studies and Community.


Julia Drydyk ( February 6, 2022) Human Trafficking Awareness Day comes a week after Valentine’s, The Scarborough Mirror retrieved from,it%20comes%20to%20sex%20trafficking. February 7th 2022

Cindy Lamothe (Dec 16, 2019) Love Bombing: 10 Signs of Over-the-Top Love, Healthline. Retrieved from

Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers (September 27th, 2018) Stages of Human Trafficking – steps traffickers take to control their victims retrieved from

Public Safety Canada (No Date Listed) Labour Trafficking, retrieved from

Sexual Violence Should Not Be a Part of the Post-Secondary Experience

For many, fall means back to school time – school has started again for children and youth and it’s back to campus life and classes whether virtual or in person for post-secondary students. Amongst the task of balancing schoolwork, jobs, and a social life, students are often faced with healing from the traumatic impacts of sexual violence.

Recently thousands of Western University students in Ontario attended a walk out in protest of several recent acts of sexual violence students experienced on and off campus during the university’s orientation week.

Four formal reports of assault that took place during the Universities orientation week have been made with police. We acknowledge that students at Western University are stating that the number of harassments and assaults are far higher than the number of formal reports. It is very common for survivors of sexual violence to chose not to make a formal report with police. Western University has indicated that they will increase their safety protocols including hiring safety ambassadors and implementing in-person training and education for students regarding sexual violence.

Unfortunately, the alarming rates of sexual violence including assault are not unique to Western University. Country wide post-secondary students are at a heightened risk of experiencing sexual violence while on campus especially during the back-to-school season of endless orientation events and parties.

Across Canada post-secondary students face an alarming rate of sexual violence each year. A 2019 Statistics Canada study reported that:

  • A majority of 71% of students at Canadian postsecondary schools witnessed or experienced Sexual violence in a post-secondary setting in 2019.
  • The vast majority of students who experienced violence, also indicated that the perpetrators of the violence were fellow students.
  • Survivors of sexual violence were of diverse genders, backgrounds, ability, and sexual orientation. However, women, 2SLBTQQIA+ students, and students living with a disability were more likely to experience sexual violence in a post-secondary setting.
  • Reports of sexual violence are at their highest during the first month of school.

In 2017, the Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Act was enacted in Manitoba. The legislation requires all post-secondary schools in Manitoba to raise awareness and education regarding sexual violence as well as the implementation of policies and procedures to respond to reports of sexual violence. Similar legislation is in place in other provinces and territories across Canada.

Despite this legislation, more needs to be done to change the culture of sexual violence amongst post-secondary institutions across Canada.

Sexual violence does not have to inevitably be a part of the university and college experience. We must change our attitudes and beliefs regarding consent and center our focus on holding those accountable for their actions and supporting survivors.

Seeking Support 

Support is available for those who have experienced sexual violence including support for those who have experienced sexual violence within a post-secondary setting.

Klinic Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24/7) 1-888-292-7565

Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre – Is a sexual violence resource centre for those of all genders in the Interlake Eastern Region of Manitoba. We provide immediate 24/7 support to survivors through RCMP and Emergency departments and provide ongoing individual counselling and group support.
Phone: 204-753-5353

Brandon Women’s Resource Centre – Provides support and resource for women who have been sexually assaulted through the Sexual Assault Advocate Program. This can include accompaniment to police services, accompaniment to medical appointments, assistance with filing police reports, and referrals to Victim’s Compensation.
Telephone: 204-726-8632
Toll-Free: 1-866-255-4432

Klinic Sexual Assault Crisis Program – Provides support and advocacy for survivors of all genders at hospital, police and court settings. Individual counselling is available. Located in Winnipeg, MB.
Phone: 204-784-4059

Ka Ni Kanichihk – Heart Medicine Lodge – Provides culturally-based support and advocacy services for Indigenous women who have experienced sexual assault and sexual violence. Available to all who identify as women and are over the age of 18. Located in Winnipeg.
Phone: 204-953-5820

Support at Post-Secondary Institutions 

REES is an online platform for reporting of sexual violence within post-secondary institutions. The following post-secondary universities in Manitoba have partnered with REES to provide survivors the option of anonymously reporting post-secondary related sexual violence to their campus. REES can also connect survivors with information related to local supports and resources.

Assiniboine Community College

Booth University College

Brandon University

Canadian Mennonite University

Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology

Providence University College & Theological Seminary

Red River College Polytechnic

Steinbach Bible College

The University of Winnipeg

The University of Manitoba

Université de Saint-Boniface

University College of the North

What to Expect From Sexual Assault Recovery and Healing Counselling

Orange background with a light green circle in the top right corner. A dark green circle with a smaller purple circle on top of it in the bottom left corner. The bottom right corner has the survivor’s hope crisis centre logo which is a purple iris flower with dark green stacked text to the right that reads Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre. Text outlined by a dark green box in the centre reads What to expect from Sexual Assault Recovery and Healing (SARAH) Counselling.Written by: LP Penner, SARAH Counsellor


Counselling can be awkward and scary! Meeting someone who is ready to hear a hard part of your story is weird.  We will not push you anywhere you are not ready to go but are ready to hold a safe space or slow things down as you face your own fears, trauma, or whatever. We will work to make the sessions safe enough to touch and eventually hold your story.


Sexual Assault means choice was taken away (no matter how much someone may feel responsible). This means we will work hard to change that dynamic, even if its just with your counsellor to start.

The first session is meant to introduce ourselves to one another and figure out what fits for you and what doesn’t. The counsellor may not be a fit for you and that is okay! We can work with you to find someone who is a fit.

We will make a plan for your healing and recovery journey together. The counsellor will not prescribe a goal but can use their experience and tools to help you find one(s) that feel right for you.


Power may have been taken away from you, or perhaps you’ve never felt like you had power. In the counselling sessions, you are in charge of you. You are the expert on your own life, how you heal and how you don’t. We will work as a cheerleader/coach as you claim power.

Free Services

We are funded to give free counselling to all people 15 years of age and over who live in the Interlake Eastern Health Authority. If you do not live in the Interlake or Eastern Manitoba we are available to explore resources that may be a fit.


We work as a team, as such may consult with the other counsellor or our supervisor if we don’t know an answer (we are human after all) or if something you bring up, brings up our own struggles we may discuss our own reactions privately and respectfully. Otherwise, your information is completely confidential. The exceptions being if we are concerned for your or someone else’s safety, this includes high risk suicidality, risk of homicide and/or concern for the welfare of a child. Unless it would increase risk we would discuss options together. Though unlikely, Survivor’s Hope does document sessions and this could be subpoenaed for legal proceedings. Your counsellor would be happy to discuss confidentiality further if any of this feels weird for you.

SARAH Counselling is

Your choice – A little Uncomfortable – Empowering – Free – Confidential

We will use our tools, skills and knowledge to work to create a space with you when you can feel safe to be brave, within that you are the expert on your own needs, story, goals, readiness and what progress looks like.

Self-Care for Everyone

A dark green background. In the center of the image is orange text that reads Self-Care looks Different each day. In the top left corner is a yellow abstract circular shape. On top of the shape is light green squiggly line in the shape of an abstract circle. To the right of the shape overlapping is a collection of purple dots. In the bottom right corner is another yellow abstract circular shape. On top of the shape is a light green squiggly line in the shape of an abstract circle. In the bottom left corner is a light green circle. One top of the circle is the Survivor’s Hope Logo. the logo is a purple line drawing of an iris flower. Dark Green stacked text to the right of the flower reads Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre.Written by Candice Perry

Self – care is for everyone. It is an act of self – compassion. It is a practice that goes beyond bubble baths and pedicures (although those are terrific ways to relax and feel taken care of!) Everyday self – care involves the routines and habits we develop to take care of ourselves holistically.  Taking time to socialize with friends and family, nourishing ourselves as best we can and taking time for movement and rest are all daily practices that support our physical and mental well – being.

What are the benefits of taking time and making the effort for self – care? There is evidence that daily self – care habits can prevent more serious health problems down the road. For example, daily oral care prevents gum disease, which can contribute to tooth loss and potentially impact our cardiovascular health. Nourishing food helps to boost our immune system, so that we can fend off infection more effectively, as well as making us feel more energetic and can be preventative for more serious illness.

Self – care is holistic. The physical habits we practice contribute to our mental health. For example, daily movement during the day can help us sleep at night, which makes us feel sharper and in a better mood the next day. When we feel better emotionally, we might have more energy to practice those physical habits that make us feel better, so it becomes a positive feedback loop.

The isolation of the COVID – 19 pandemic challenged us individually to get creative in meeting our self care needs. We are now challenged to prepare to re – emerge from isolation while adjusting to make the world around us a more understanding and inclusive place where everyone can have their needs met.

Self- care practice is an ever evolving practice and systemic barriers such as poverty and racism, or experience violence and trauma can make it more difficult to practice self – care.  As we re-emerge and re-build, we can practice self – care to keep us energized and grounded and systems can work to transform to break down barriers that impede self care.

Small acts everyday can help to build a self-care practice. Anything like giving yourself permission to rest, to decide to sit out of specific activities that take your energy without rejuvenating you and doing things or spending time with people who give you joy are all part of self – care.  Everyday self-care practice for everyone.

Self-Care by Everyone for Everyone

A light green background with a sunny yellow circle in the middle. Text in dark green on top of the circle reads Self Care month. An abstract light pink circle overlaps the yellow circle in the bottom right corner. A squiggly circular thin line in dark orange is atop of the pink circle. Another squiggly circular thing line in dark orange is in the top left corner. The Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre logo is in the bottom left. the logo is a purple line drawing of an iris flower. Dark Green stacked text to the right of the flower reads Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre.Written by Candice Perry

July 24 is International Self-Care Day. An international campaign to encourage everyone to participate in wellness and preventative health practices. Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre is honoring self-care throughout the month of July. We explore the seven pillars of self-care which include Mental Well-being, Movement, Nourishment, Hygiene, Informed Health Decisions, Harm Reduction, and Informed Decisions about self-care products and services. We will also look at ways we can practice self-care, barriers to achieving quality self-care, and how communities and our larger society can recognize and remove barriers and support individuals to practice self-care.

Self-care practice cannot replace quality health care, nor can it prevent all injury or illness. However, self-care practice can empower us within our health and well – being through regular habits that support us to feel better physically, emotionally, mentally, and to feel more fulfilled in our relationships with others close to us and even in our relationships within our communities. Self-care practice is a holistic way of taking care of our whole being and throughout our campaign you will become familiar with each pillar of self-care and how they interact with the others. For example, if we do things that support us physically, like making efforts to eat as healthily as we can most of the time, and regular body movement, this can support us physically, but also mentally. Our sleep can improve, which can also influence how we feel mentally as well as physically. Regular self-care measures support our overall wellness.

Measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID – 19 over the last year and a half turned every piece of health advice on its head. Before the pandemic, doctors were warning us against the dangers of isolating ourselves behind our screens. Throughout the pandemic we have been advised to stay home, not see anyone physically, and interact through virtual contacts. In some cities for periods of time, people were ordered to stay in their homes and were not even allowed to go to parks for periods of time, eliminating the ability to enjoy the outdoors and opportunities for body movement. Many people have experienced the stresses of lack of access to food through restrictions that impacted how and when we can shop, lack of opportunities for body movement, the loneliness of quarantine, and instability and loss of income. It has been a challenge to practice self-care in non-social ways. Now that the world is moving closer to re-opening, we have an opportunity to re-imagine how we can be aware of the barriers that can prevent or get in the way of self-care and take steps to make self-care available to everyone.

Pronouns Matter

A light green background with a dark orange half circle in the top left corner and half circle in the bottom right corner. A purple line goes through both circles. A header at the top of the image in purple reads Pronouns. Text in dark green below reads they/them, she/they, ze/zir, he/him, he/they, she/her. The Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre logo is in the bottom left. the logo is a purple line drawing of a iris flower. Dark Green stacked text to the right of the flower reads Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre. Pronouns are used in everyday speech and writing to take the place of a person’s name. Once we know someone’s pronouns, it is important that we always use them. When we are meeting people for the first time when must take the time to ensure we know their pronouns so we can show our respect to those in our life.

What are pronouns?

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. In the context of gender, pronouns are used to identify someone’s gender in the third person. Pronouns allow us to interact with one another while expressing ourselves. We may use the same pronouns throughout our life, our pronouns may change throughout our life or they may change throughout the day, day to day, or situation.

Some examples of pronouns include she/her/hers, he/him/his, ze/hir/hirs, they/them/theirs, she/they, him/they. However, there are many, many more pronouns that people may use.

Why do pronouns matter?

Our pronouns directly link to our gender identity and how our gender identity is expressed. When we use pronouns to refer to others, we affirm their gender identity. When we use pronouns to refer to someone that are incorrect it can make that person feel unwelcome, uncomfortable, invisible, and unsafe. Using the wrong pronouns by mistake or on purpose is called misgendering.

So how do I respond when I misgender someone? 

If you are having a conversation with someone and they let you know you are not using their correct pronoun:

  1. Acknowledge
  2. Rephrase
  3. Carry on

Example: My apologies thanks, yes, they like ice cream.  

If you are having a conversation with someone and you realize you are not using their correct pronoun:

  1. Rephrase
  2. Carry on

Ex. He plays guitar in a band, I mean she pays guitar in a band.

Mistake and slip ups happen, there is no need to profusely apologize or draw more attention to the error. Drawn out apologies could make everyone feel awkward.

How do you ask someone their pronouns?

We of course cannot know someone’s pronouns by looking at them or hearing them talk. We need to either ask someone their pronouns and/or listen when someone tells us their pronouns.

Ways to share your pronouns.

  • When you introduce yourself (in person and virtually)
    Hello, my name is Elisabeth, I use ae/aer pronouns.
  • Next to your name in email signatures, online video platforms, social media bios, gaming platforms, business cards, name tags etc.

Why might someone not share their pronouns?

We must recognize that sometimes people might choose not to share their pronouns. Or the pronouns they ask people to use might change depending on the situation. Someone might not feel comfortable sharing their pronouns in a particular space or they might feel unsafe because of transphobia and other acts of discrimination. They might not share their pronouns when introducing themselves or they might share pronouns that do not represent them but are used to protect one’s safety.

The most important lesson to remember is to use the pronouns any individual asks you to use.

Jokes about Sexual Violence Cannot be Tolerated in Online Spaces and Everyday Life

The way we communicate with our friends and family, coworkers and the rest of the world has drastically changed. We often rely on online spaces including apps, social media, email, and video chat services to connect. These spaces bring great benefits, but they also can provide space for hate, harassment, and abuse.

Recent social media posts have made light of sexual violence and subsequent claimed to have been jokes. Sexual assault is a traumatic and severe emotional and physical violation and jokes of rape, sexual assault or other forms of sexual violence cannot be tolerated whether online, in the workplace or in everyday life. Jokes about sexual violence reinforces and normalizes sexual violence and further perpetrates gender-based inequalities. Jokes about sexual violence can also further traumatize and trigger survivors of violence.

We all have a role to play in creating a safe online world. Leaders of online spaces including dating apps and social media platforms must take steps to ensure that they have effective policies and moderators in place to ensure harassment and abuse are not tolerated, and that perpetrators are held accountable, and their abusive content is removed from their platform. Individuals can become active bystanders and call out harassment and abuse. Individuals can report inappropriate content on the social media platform it appears on. We can also reach out to those that have been a target of online harassment and abuse to let them know we are available to chat, provide support or help them seek resources to support them.

How to report harassment and abuse on social media platforms

Guides are available for information on privacy settings and reporting tools on the following platforms Tiktok, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and Youtube. (click on the platform to open the guide).

How to report Non-Consensual Distribution of an Intimate Image

In Canada it is illegal for a person to distribute an intimate image of another person without that person’s consent. receives and addresses reports of non-consensual distribution of intimate images of individuals under 18 years of age. To report child sexual abuse content including the sharing of images or video without consent see:

For more support for teens see:

For information regarding the non-consensual distribution of an intimate images of folks over 18 years of age see:

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Left half of the image is a light green background. Right half of the image is a dark green background with teal lines going across it vertically. The centre of the image has a dark orange square with white text inside that reads “April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month”. There is a teal ribbon on the left top corner of the orange square. Survivor’s Hope logo is in the left bottom corner. The logo is a purple line drawn iris flower with the text “Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre” written in dark green to the right of the flower.April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month – a time to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault in our community.

Sexual assault is one form of sexual violence. Sexual violence occurs when one or more person forces or manipulates someone else into any unwanted act of sexual nature either physical or non-physical without their consent. It can happen to anyone of any age or gender and happens in all communities. Sexual violence includes but is not limited to sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation.

Survivor’s Hope is acknowledging Sexual Assault Awareness Month through several activities throughout the month including:

  • Day of Action – Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – Wear teal to show your support for survivors of sexual violence.
  • Denim Day – Wednesday, April 28, 2021 – Wear denim to take a stand against victim-blaming.
  • I’m Here for Your Cards – We created a series of cards that loved one’s can give (either in person or virtually) to survivors of sexual violence to let them know that a loved one is available to provide support.
  • Shifting from Stigma to Support: An Introduction to Trauma and Substance Use – Online Seminar – Manitoba Harm Reduction and Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre are providing an online seminar exploring the connections between trauma including sexual assault trauma and substance use through a harm reduction lens.

For more information regarding SAAM and the activities we have planned check out our SAAM page.

As always, Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre is here to offer hope and healing through support and education for individuals who lives have been impact by sexual violence in the Interlake Eastern Region of Manitoba. Through our SARAH program

  • 24/7 support is available for those who have just experienced sexual violence through local hospitals and RCMP detachments.
  • Free individual counselling is also available for those 16 years and older who has experience sexual violence.

For more information regarding our SARAH program check out our SARAH page.


Beyond the Crisis: Ongoing Counselling and Support

Written by: Candice Perry

Now that you have survived, how do you heal so that you can thrive?

Survivors of sexualized violence deserve the support needed to heal. The SARAH program has offered residents and visitors to North Eastern Manitoba advocacy and support immediately following sexual assault, but local resources for longer term support have been difficult to access.

Now, Survivor’s Hope is excited to be able to offer longer term support in its SARAH Counselling and Support Program. The follow up counsellor aims to provide a safe space for survivors so that they can be empowered to heal, just like the safe space our SARAH volunteers have been providing for years. The program believes that survivors can regain their sense of personal autonomy by having their experience believed, having their feelings validated, and having their choices respected.

The SARAH Counselling and Support Program is being offered virtually at this time through Google Meet or by telephone. Once COVID guidelines change to allow for in person counselling, office visits will be arranged throughout the region. The program aims to expand to provide group support and workshops to help those who are supporting survivors.

You can access the program by leaving a voicemail at 204-753-5353 or sending a secure email through the website . The counsellor will return your call to arrange for the first session. The program is free of charge.

You do not need to travel your path to healing alone.

Survivor’s Hope is Supporting Local Food Banks and Tackling Period Poverty

We are partnering with community food banks to support the communities they serve in a new way during this time of economic slowdown.

“We recognize that the COVID-19 lockdown has put a lot of people out of work and families will be relying on food banks more than before” says Candice Perry, Reaching Out Coordinator for Survivor’s Hope. “We want to support our communities by helping to meet some immediate and basic needs.”

Survivor’s Hope will be sharing menstrual products with numerous local food banks and community resources thanks to the generosity of a social enterprise in BC called joni, which matches every purchase with a donation. Joni produces menstrual pads that are unbleached and biodegradable, making them a choice that is good for bodies and for the earth.

“Menstrual products can be expensive and are not always available at food banks,” says Stephanie Klassen, Executive Director of Survivors Hope. “These products are a necessity that is often overlooked and without them, the folks who menstruate miss out. We want to support the full participation of women and girls in society by making sure this need is met.”

Klassen said when she first contacted joni, the company was excited. “We asked about purchasing a few hundred boxes and they offered to match our purchase with donations and then some on top of that! We now have 1320 boxes of pads to share!”

Donations will be distributed to community food banks across north eastern Manitoba over the coming weeks. Information flyers about the increased risk of intimate violence during COVD-19 and the support available through Survivors Hope and Nova House, the shelter for survivors of intimate partner violence in Selkirk, will also be included. Nova House has launched a text line where a domestic violence counsellor can be reached 24/7 by texting 204-805-6682.

“There has been a worldwide increase in reports of violence at home. There is a lot of concern about isolation and violence in the home escalating as everyone is asked to stay at home,” said Klassen. “If there is an abusive person in the home, home is not always the safest place. We want to remind folks that there are local resources that are ready to help 24/7.”