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Regina Sexual Assault Centre opens new 'trauma informed' location

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The Regina and Area Sexual Assault Centre (RSAC) has recently moved locations and its new space was designed with its purpose in mind.

“It’s never the mistake of the victim. So in a way when we were hidden, it’s as if we were saying 'Yes, something we did that is wrong … but no,” said Mary Zwane, a counsellor at the centre.

Those who come through the doors of the new location are often in the midst of an incredibly difficult time. These facts were taken into account with the new Regina and Area Sexual Assault Centre.

Details such as frosted windows, divided hallways, and even a self serve coffee machine as opposed to coffee offered by a staff member were intentionally planned to make the organization’s new location as safe as possible according to RSAC Executive Director, Lisa Miller.

“We want the space to be what we refer to as ‘trauma informed,’” she told CTV News. “We wanna make sure that it’s a space where we’re careful of the power dynamics between staff and clients. We want them to feel like they are here and we are walking alongside them that we’re not in a different position from them.”

The centre is intended to be a safe space for those who have experienced sexual assault to receive the proper physical and psychological care.

According to Miller, the intentional trauma informed design of the space helps remove the initial barrier of seeking help so that victims are able to begin healing.

“So many stories I could share with you but I can tell you that we’ve had people come in here who can’t even make eye contact with you because there’s so much … there’s so much shame and so much that they’re carrying and after a few sessions, they are changed individuals,” Miller explained.

Zwane expressed that the new location is an important step towards a difficult conversation.

“I feel like society needs to know that organizations like this exist,” she said. “And that the more they see people come here, know that there is a problem that exists and that needs to be addressed and that it is all of our responsibility.”

The centre is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 4:30 p.m. However, if you have experienced sexual assault and are seeking immediate help, there is a 24-hour crisis line available at (306)-352-0434.

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