In order to assist all women in regaining their power when faced with the consequences of a sexual assault, CALACS de l’Est du Bas-Saint-Laurent offers direct assistance with individual or group accompaniment, support for legal proceedings and support for relatives.
All our services are confidential, free and open to anyone over the age of 12.
It is not necessary to file a complaint to benefit from our support.
CALACS de l’Est du Bas-Saint-Laurent offers individual support for teenagers aged 12 and older and women who have experienced sexual assault. Our intersectional feminist approach puts women at the center of the support so that they can regain power over their lives, their bodies and their relationships. They are the experts in their own lives.
During these meetings, we support women in becoming aware of the consequences of sexual assault and gradually freeing themselves from it. With respect for the pace, needs and choices of each woman, we recognize the experience of all women and offer our attentive ear and tools to help them move forward on their path to emancipation and recovery.
We can assist you in different locations. In the Rimouski shelter, but also elsewhere in the eastern part of the Lower St. Lawrence region. Our support staff travels to the Matapedia, Matanie, La Mitis and Rimouski-Neigette regions to make direct supportservices available to all women. Call us and together, we will determine the most suitable location and formula for you.
BREAK THE SILENCE
Choosing to speak up about your assault does not have to mean reporting it to the police. You can tell your story to a caring person who will listen and acknowledge your experience. In addition to listening to you, she can help you better understand your experience, the forms of sexual assault and their consequences. Choosing to speak out is the first step on the road to freedom and recovery. Whether the assault is very recent or took place years ago, your words will be listened to without judgment and with kindness.
Testimonial: " At 13, with innocence, I endured. At 50, with dignity, I reacted. I needed to tell my story. They took the time to listen to me. I needed to move forward. They respected my journey. I arrived in pain. I moved forward softly. I came in on my knees. I left standing tall."
CALACS de L'Est du Bas-Saint-Laurent offers group activities. Very common in feminist circles, support groups help create solidarity among women, build on each woman’s experience and help them relearn, at their own pace, to have confidence in their own words and in relationships with others.
The group’s objectives
- Provide a place to express your feelings
- Meet other women who have experienced sexual assault
- Create a bond and complicity between women
- Break the isolation
- Explore creativity by experimenting with various techniques
- Take a break from suffering
- Move toward greater self-esteem
- Find courses of action for one’s well-being
- Become aware of the social issues related to sexual assault
At CALACS de l’Est du Bas-Saint-Laurent we have, for instance, had group meetings on open topics, held in the outdoors with a sexologist, virtual chats, discussions about documentaries, etc. Themes such as “fear”, “my needs”, “where I come from”, are some of the topics we can address in these group meetings in order to support the regaining of one’s power to act, to think, to express and to live.
Testimonial: "CALACS helped me feel like I wasn’t alone anymore. Dear women, we don’t all have the same story, but we all have the same scar. It is together that we can move forward and heal the wounds of the past and present"
Support with legal or medical proceedings
Calling CALACS du Bas-Saint-Laurent to ask for support does not mean you have to file a complaint.
However, we can inform and support women who wish to do so in legal proceedings. These individual meetings with a caseworker are intended to help women make free and informed decisions at each stage of the legal and medical process.
Filing a complaint can be a liberating as well as challenging step. Especially when other vectors of discrimination, such as systemic racism, are added to the mix. We welcome and respect all women’s experiences and support them on this journey, so that no woman has to struggle alone.
If other needs arise in the aftermath of a sexual assault, we will guide you to the most appropriate community resources. Since the oppressions that women experience are numerous, we have created partnerships with different organizations in the region and throughout the province of Québec.
Support for relatives
When a woman experiences a sexual assault, it has many consequences on her physical, psychological and social health. Those close to the victim are affected by the shock wave that follows the sexual assault, sometimes several years later, when a woman breaks the silence. As a relative, you have the right to ask for help.
Your support, your understanding and your attitude as a loved one play an essential role in helping survivors of sexual assault. That is why CALACS de L’Est du Bas-Saint-Laurent, helps relatives to better understand and support their partner, their friend, their sister, their child, their granddaughter, their student, etc.
Call CALACS to learn more about how to act. And check out the twelve helpful attitudes on our "How to receive a confidence" page.