Support for Youth
We know that sexual violence can impact anyone – regardless of age. If you are under the age of 18 and have been affected by sexual violence, we are here to support you.
We will ALWAYS believe you.
It is our goal to support YOU and we strive to maintain confidentiality as much as possible. This means that we will protect your privacy and we will only inform others when legally necessary. In Alberta, there is a law that requires any adult who has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that someone under the age of 18 is in immediate danger to report to Child and Family Services or the Police. This means that if you tell any of our staff members that you are currently experiencing ongoing abuse of any type or if there is a risk of any abuse happening again, we will need to report it to Child and Family Services or to the Police. We may also need to break confidentiality if you disclose immediate plans take your own life or to harm someone else. In any of these situations, we will do our best to give you a choice in how this unfolds and to keep you informed about the process.
How Do I Know if it Counts?
One of the most frequently asked questions that we hear from students is “does this count as sexual assault/harassment?” and, while we are not able to label anyone else’s experience, the conclusion reached is usually “yes, that would count”. Sexual assault is any sort of sexual touch that is non-consensual, meaning that you did not want it to happen in the moment. Sexual harassment is any sort of sexual communication that makes you uncomfortable or feel violated, whether this communication is done through words or images. Both definitions hinge on YOUR feelings. We can tell when someone is not interested in, not excited for, or made uncomfortable by an activity. Sexual assault and harassment happen when someone else chooses to ignore the other person’s feelings and continue with the activity.
Accessing Our Counselling Services
Our counselling services are available for anyone aged 4 or older who has experienced sexual violence. All of our therapists are highly qualified, trauma-informed, and know how to work alongside people of all ages, genders, and orientations. Services are currently offered both in-person at our offices in Sherwood Park, St. Albert, and virtually.
Consent from all legal guardians is required for youth to access counselling services at Saffron. For some, this may disrupt the ability to access counselling. Depending on the circumstances, our clinical staff may assess youth as "mature minors," allowing them to sign their own consent form.
You can phone or email us to get started on the process, which begins with a client registration over the phone. Following this, a longer intake appointment will be scheduled and information about your specific needs will be collected, among other things. After the intake, you will be placed on the waitlist and contacted as soon as a spot becomes available with an appropriate therapist. You can then receive up to 20 sessions that are 50 minutes each with a therapist. The first session may be between your parents or guardians and the therapist in order to establish the necessary background information.
If You Have Experienced Sexual Harassment ...
Sexual harassment can be a very difficult experience to cope with. Many of the options for support are more informal and involve finding ways to talk about and work through the experience.
Talk to a Trusted Adult. As is the case with the other experiences, talking to a trusted adult in your life can be an important part of the healing process.
Delegate to an Authority Figure. If the harassment happened/is happening at school or work, you can talk to a teacher, principal, boss, or human resources representative and go over some options with them.
Reach Out to Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence. You can call or text 1-866-403-8000 to speak to someone trained in handling disclosures about sexual assault and sexual harassment.
If you have questions about the SAFFRON Centre or are interested in counselling, there are two ways to contact us: you can phone us at 780-449-0900 and speak to one of our very kind administrators or you can email us at email@example.com. We are open Monday to Saturday, with evening hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
If you are curious about our work and want to stay up to date with what we’re doing, follow us on Instagram @saffroncentre.
If you met us in your school and are hoping to connect with the Public Educator who presented, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact them. They work from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday and will try to respond to you as soon as possible. +
Please note that the SAFFRON Centre is NOT a crisis centre, meaning that we are not in a position to personally help someone who is in immediate and severe distress; instead, we will refer you to someone who is better suited to help. You can call or text 1-800-956-1099 at any time to access the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre’s 24-Hour Crisis Line.