Patricia Arango, executive director of the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, says about 10 per cent of the centre’s clients are seniors. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Reaching out to seniors dealing with sexual assault

Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre available to help

Raising the awareness of elder abuse, including sexual assault, is a continuing focus in central Alberta.

“We want to keep the conversations going and the connections. When people put up their hands this time, there were 13 people who were new to this conversation,” said organizer Sheryl Krill of participants at the fourth annual Central Alberta Elder Abuse Community Conversation, held Tuesday at Golden Circle Seniors Resource Centre.

Representatives from groups that work with the senior population gathered to discuss sexual assault, historical trauma and restorative justice.

But Patricia Arango, executive director of the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, said seniors aren’t just dealing with sexual abuse that happened to them in the past. Abuse may also be recent.

Regardless of when it happened, seniors are often hesitant to speak up. They don’t want their children and family to know what happened to them, she said.

“For seniors, it’s very difficult to reach for help. They are so quiet and ashamed. It’s a huge secret,” Arango said.

Related:

Campaign against sexual assault continues

Two senior Canadian Forces members charged with sexual assaults

But the support centre is open to everybody, she said.

“We work with individuals. We don’t work with a specific age. Don’t think about whether you qualify. You’re a victim. You qualify,” Arango said.

“We believe them. We know it has happened to them.”

About 10 per cent of the centre’s clients are seniors. Among adult victims, 90 per cent of them know their abuser.

Arango said a few years ago, more seniors started contacting the centre, likely because of growing community awareness and available support.

That’s when the centre decided to reach out to seniors agencies to educate their staff to help older people.

For more information about the services offered by the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, go to casasc.ca online.

People can also visit the centre, located at A201-5212 48th St., or call or text its 24-hour crisis line at 1-866-956-1099. Webchat is also available at casasc.ca.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

red deer citysexual assault

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Still no mandatory masks in Red Deer

While a growing number of Alberta communities have made masks mandatory, the… Continue reading

Maskwacis teen charged in 10-year-old boy’s death

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

Red Deer asking for feedback on new transit routes

The new routes will begin Aug. 23

Rainbow flag raised at Red Deer College to kick off Pride Week

Central Alberta Pride Week runs next week

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

Canadian man who was set to be deported from U.S. gets COVID in custody, dies

Canadian man who was set to be deported from U.S. gets COVID in custody, dies

Ten workers test positive for COVID-19 at pork processing plant in Manitoba

Ten workers test positive for COVID-19 at pork processing plant in Manitoba

Colorado prison escapee caught after nearly 50 years on run

Colorado prison escapee caught after nearly 50 years on run

Liberty University’s Falwell taking leave of absence

Liberty University’s Falwell taking leave of absence

Officials long warned of explosive chemicals at Beirut port

Officials long warned of explosive chemicals at Beirut port

US intel: Russia acting against Biden; China opposes Trump

US intel: Russia acting against Biden; China opposes Trump

Most Read