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Direct support and accompaniment, even if it was a long time ago

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Whether you have experienced sexual violence recently or as long as several years ago, you have access to help, in person, by phone or online. Some organizations can offer both psychosocial support and accompaniment through certain steps like making a police report and applying for compensation as they can be complicated to navigate.

Organizations such as the Centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (CALACS) are the predominant resources for people who have experienced sexual violence, as well as their loved ones. Although the majority of CALACS are geared towards women and teenage girls, there are other similar resources available that anyone who has experienced sexual violence can access in order to receive help.

The most common services that these organizations can often offer are psychosocial assistance through individual meetings with a counsellor or through participation in support groups. However, a multitude of approaches and techniques may be available, depending on the needs of the individual and the resources available. They could include art therapy, sharing circles in Aboriginal settings or visualization and conscious breathing.

In addition to emotional support, these centres may be able to provide practical support and accompaniment. You could receive help when you go to the police station or participate in the judicial process. Perhaps you need accompaniment when going to the hospital or you may need support making a claim for financial compensation. These tasks can bring up a lot of emotional stress and you can ask for support from these organizations in order to complete them successfully. 

The entourage that supports you can also experience feelings of stress and sadness. Victim service organizations can also provide psychosocial support and information to the friends and family of victims. An act of sexual violence committed against an individual also affects those around them. Anyone affected by sexual violence, even indirectly, has the right to help.