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CCASA September 2014 Volunteer Newsletter
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Vibrant Volunteers
Each month we share a volunteer's unique journey with CCASA...
How did you hear about CCASA?
I heard about CCASA from a presentation that was put on at the Women's Resource Centre at the University of Calgary when I was a student there. I was thoroughly impressed by the organization, and started following CCASA on Twitter. When the Support and Information line was being set up again, CCASA posted a tweet looking for volunteers, so I signed up! I love volunteering and love CCASA's vision, so joining the volunteer team was a no-brainer.

What has been your favorite part of the volunteer role so far?
My favorite part of the volunteer experience has been knowing that I have been helping others and making a difference. On my first helpline shift, I was very nervous. I was absolutely terrified that I wouldn't be able to help, but I got on the lines and I got 5 calls that shift! It was a lot for my first time, and I was a little worried that I didn't support the callers the way they needed to be supported. However, the next day I got an e-mail from Mary saying that a caller last night had come in to talk to the PACES staff and had just raved about how much I supported her, and how I made her feel a lot better during a time where she really needed support! I was blown away! After talking to her, I had worried that I didn't make enough of a difference and that I wasn't able to help - but I was! Coming after my first shift, that boosted my confidence a lot in talking to callers, and I am so, so happy that I've been able to make a difference.

What has been your biggest challenge as a volunteer?
Nervousness has been my biggest challenge on the lines so far. Every shift for my first six months on the line was really scary for me! I would sit at my desk with my heart pounding, jumping every time any phone in the Distress Centre rang. I think it was challenging for me because I really do want to help and support others, and give them what they need, but I'd worry how I'd react in the moment to different situations. Having been on the lines for a little more than a year now, I can happily say that that nervousness has subsided a lot! I've had to respond to a lot of different scenarios (such as call outs, high risk calls and looking for shelters), and now that I've had the chance to do that, I'm a lot more confident in my own abilities.

How was your volunteer role impacted your life?
Volunteering for CCASA has positively affected my life in so many ways! I have had friends and loved ones who, knowing my role with CCASA, have confided in me, looked for more information about programs, and sought me out for support. I've been able to support friends-of-friends who have left abusive situations, and let them know about resources in the community. I'm so grateful to the training that CCASA has given me, because I find that I am able to help folks in my life as well as callers on the Support and Information Line! I am so grateful to CCASA for my new found confidence in dealing with difficult situations, and that I have had the training and practice necessary to positively impact everyone I can!

 

Language is key...

Changing the way that we talk about sexual abuse and sexual assault is critical to shifting the stigmas and assumptions associated with this form of violence. Check out this article to see how Campus Security at the University of Calgary is changing the language they use when discussing this issue.
 

"The language we use to discuss sexual violence needs to change. Removing stigma overnight is impossible, but changing the way we discuss sexual assault is a positive step."
 

Mark your calendars for CCASA's 1Blue String event at Kilkenny Irish Pub in Brentwood on Thursday, September 18th! You can conveniently purchase your tickets on CCASA's website. Click on the green "Registration Payment" button on the top of the page, and simply enter "1Blue String" and the total dollar amount ($15.00 / ticket). It will be an amazing evening of awareness raising among great company, so we hope to see lots of your lovely faces! 

"ManEnough?"

CCASA is excited to announce that the “ManEnough?” program will once again be running this fall at the University of Calgary with the support of the Women’s Resource Centre.

The “ManEnough?” Program provides a safe space for male identified people to speak on issues related to the societal view of masculinity and its relation to a culture accepting of sexual violence. This program is designed to assist men in the development of the skills needed to challenge attitudes and actions that support violence and to explore alternative constructions of masculinity that promote equality, as men who are invested in healthy relationships with their own masculinity are more likely to go on to have healthy relationships with others.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about how to become part of the “ManEnough?” Program, we are hosting an information session on Sept 10, 2014 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the CCASA offices. Everyone is welcome – please RSVP to info@calgarycasa.com or 403-237-6905 ext 241 by Friday, September 5, 2014.

To celebrate the launch we will be posting eight articles, over the next two weeks, which relate to each of the eight modules in the “ManEnough?” Program. Stay tuned and share with your friends!

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CCASA's Mission: Provide leadership to impact attitudes and actions around sexual abuse and sexual assault.

CCASA's Vision: Healthy communities free of sexual abuse and sexual assault.