A grand opening
“It is staggering to think that one in three women and girls, and one in six men and boys, will experience sexual abuse or assault in their lifetime,” says Kristine Cassie, chief executive officer at the new facility.
“We are thankful to the government of Alberta for their investment in addressing sexual violence by committing to fund the Chinook Sexual Assault Centre,” opening its doors in the Professional Building next to the post office.
By offering a range of services, says centre board chair Bill Kaye, the new resource should reduce victims’ confusion and trauma.
“Although the CSAC is located in Lethbridge, our reach is in all of southwestern Alberta,” he adds.
“Sexual violence has no limits and we want and need to reach the rural areas.”
Its services will be available to everyone, Cassie says, “however they identify.”
Crisis support will be offered on the phone (403-694-1094) as well as in person during the day or by appointment in the evening. The centre will also provide victim advocacy with the police and courts as well as “system navigation” and education services.
No-charge counselling will be available at the centre in collaboration with Lethbridge Family Services.
Cassie credits the Alberta Association of Sexual Assault Services for helping the centre’s founders create a business case that identified Lethbridge as “a key area of need.”