Adult Community Healing Resource Centre Opens
Cornwall Free News
17 September 2010
Cornwall, ON – The Adult Community Healing Resource Centre will officially open on October 1, 2010 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. This centre is a one-of-a-kind project spearheaded by adult survivors of childhood abuse, some of whom were part of the Cornwall Inquiry. This centre will serve as a drop-in and resource centre for adults aged sixteen and over who have experienced childhood abuse. There will be women only evenings, men only evenings, co-ed, and family and youth evenings.
The open house will feature guest speakers; a performance by a Drumming Circle; and special guest Aboriginal Elder Grandma Irene Lindsay will perform a ritual opening and closing ceremony. The open house, located at 125 Amelia Street – back entrance will be open to the public from 6-9 PM. For more information about the centre and its hours please call 613-932-1755 Ext. 29 or Email: [email protected].
For many years survivors of child abuse in Cornwall and the surrounding areas have sought a place of their own to facilitate healing and reconciliation in community, with community and for our entire community. The Adult Community Healing Resource Centre will be a model within our community that focuses primarily on the participant’s needs. We dedicate our service not only to a person’s need for assistance, but also to the soul’s call for help. Our commitment is to individual self-healing for the betterment of individuals and community.
Responses for “Adult Community Healing Resource Centre Opens October 1, 2010 in Cornwall Ontario”
Chris Chevalier says:
The Adult Community Healing Resource Centre is a much-needed resource in this area and I applaud the efforts of those involved in bringing it to fruition.
Sadly, the “powers that be” have chosen to house this service at a centre that has been known as a refuge, a safe space for women who are survivors of sexual assault. It has long been known that women who have survived sexual assault and are working towards healing are often uncomfortable around males. The premise behind the Sexual Assault Support Services of SDG and A has long been that women deserve a safe space of their own to heal. While the ACHRC may have a separate entrance to the SASS building it remains that women may encounter men in the parking lot, outside the building, on the street in front of SASS, etc., “hanging around” and waiting for their groups to meet.
It is a sad day when services for women in this area may no longer be perceived as safe space for those women in need.
It is a good idea, and all the best to people needing the services!!!!!
We must watch that we only have one entity and one directive. All to often spin off centers form and are often not run under legislated parameters.
A perfect example is the teaching profession and old age homes, built to help but governed to make money.
Janet Handy says:
Thank you to those who commented on the ACHRC opening. Here at SASS we have taken into consideration all aspects of this new opportunity to help sexual assault victims. We want to assure women that SASS will continue to be a safe haven for women. SASS has every intention of continuing awareness and support for women and to end the sexual assault oppressions that women experience. What SASS needs are more women willing to continue this work, while at the same time supporting the next step forward. Has the fight for women’s equality ended? Not at all… it is just beginning!
This ACHRC presence in Cornwall was a key recommendation from the Cornwall Inquiry after both child abuse surviving women and men called for this help. It is our hope that the men and women who visit the centre will be able, through their work done here, to re-engage other support systems in Cornwall that they currently distrust; this distrust being due to the original sources of their childhood sexual assault.
In practical terms we have also had the back area of the agency rented out to other groups and individuals over the past 5 years. We have also had a male therapist seeing male clients, and so the presence of men at the centre has not been unknown. The current “powers that be” at SASS have decided that as an agency we must be more visible to the public. One of the ways we are doing this is to is to support new initiatives in sexual assault healing. By supporting the ACHRC to get on its feet in a professional manner and with solid processes for programming and peer support, SASS gains the opportunity to increase our public education and awareness of sexual assault as it affects children. It also allows us to play a mentor role in our community that is vital to our mandate given the long years of SASS expertise in responding to sexual assault victims.
As for logistics, we have developed the following guidelines:
We have addressed the tendency for women and men to gather at the back as they await their groups to start and that has stopped.
The ACHRC centre at this time will only be open in the evenings from 6 to 9 and is not for the general public but only for survivors of childhood sexual assault.
Most work SASS undertakes with women clients takes place during the day while crisis lines are employed at night.
Except for SASS special events and training at night, which can happen in the main area of SASS, away from the back area, the women in training are in training precisely because they are now able to help other women. As such they are further along in their healing processes.
The Drop-in schedule will have a women’s night, a men’s night, and a rotating schedule on one night of coed / family/ youth (ages 16 – 21) /special speakers.
That women and men had requested this support together to the Inquiry Commissioner, and that it is now forthcoming from SASS which is grassroots-based and uses a feminist model of engagement with victims, is a credit to the “powers that be” that we are moving into a new era of holistic healing and response services to this dilemma of the sexual assault of boys and girls. It is also a clear indication that a feminist approach is gathering credibility in the wider circles of social services as a community based model that allows a different approach to inclusion. This change comes directly out of the presence of women in community working so hard at this issue for so many years. More recently it also comes from the women and men who are survivors of childhood sexual assault. These adults are now speaking up about their mutual distaste for the socialization they experienced as girls and boys (and still do) that so blatantly allows a hierarchy of unchecked and violent power to exist over children.
It is a happy day when an agency meant to be a safe place for women, can be a part of teaching men how they too can be a part of the solution. It is indeed a crucial opportunity for both SASS and the community to take a step into holistic community healing that has, up until now, not been approached in this way. Ultimately helping men become better able to experience intimacy and consistency in their marriages, partnerships and families in the aftermath of childhood abuse experiences, in effect helps the women and partners in their lives. In other words helping men and women dialogue together in effect helps women.
[…] Adult Community Healing Resource Centre Opens October 1, 2010 in Cornwall Ontario […]
Donna Leroux says:
The Blind Leading the Blind ~
The Adult Community Healing Resource Centre is only one of the many key recommendations given by Commissioner Normand Glaude. This Centre is like offering a cancer patient a Peer Support Group without providing medical treatment for the cancer. The support from other cancer survivors would be extremely helpful but would not provide healing for the cancer. The same goes for survivors of sexual abuse. They need qualified Psychotherapists to provide the proper treatment to heal from the effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse.
It is unfortunate that certain people have taken advantage of vulnerable individuals within our society to advance their own careers.
We should often feel ashamed of our best actions if the world could see all the motives which produced them. ~ Francois de la Rochefoucauld
Marge Laprade says:
Same old! Same old!
I personally know of occurrences where survivors in peer support groups were re-traumatized because of the behaviours of other survivors who were untreated by therapy. There are no quick fixes or shortcuts as Ms. Leroux inferred so eloquently in her comment. As is the case for any trauma, treatment by qualified individuals is the only answer, then peer support can accompany and follow as a complement. Again adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse are being offered and given ‘crumbs’ instead of a loaf of bread and left to wonder why they came forward publicly to be only ignored. The Ministry didn’t listen to the most important part of Commissioner Normand Glaude’s recommendations (as suggested by survivors themselves during informal testimony): continued funding for those already in therapy with the therapist of their choice and funding for all who come forward with a history of childhood sexual abuse. I ask the community: who do you think is going to pay for your family member’s therapy treatment when he or she discloses?