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What we're about
This group is for women* who want to be more comfortable and confident in their body and in their intimate relationships.
The statistics are clear:
-- 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime
-- women are over 10 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than men
-- only 1 in 3 Canadians understand what consent means
-- 1 in 6 women experienced some form of incest by age 16
-- unresolved trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences manifest in a wide variety of health problems and relational issues
On top of that, current institutional treatments and programs are generally inadequate and the legal system often retraumatizes victims. Women are frequently left to fend for themselves, facing problems such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, fear, shame, boundary issues, low self-esteem, eating disorders, body-image problems, vaginismus or vulvodynia, and more.
Everyone^ is welcome, whether you have something to share or are seeking resources and ideas because you don’t know where to start, or don't know what to do next. Counselling or traditional therapy only goes so far, and sometimes talk is not enough. This group will help you move past your past. Group meetings will provide a forum to share information/resources, discuss alternative treatments, offer connections to professionals, affirm choice in treatment options and challenge the institutional status quo. (Social Justice Warriors are welcome.)
* The group's topics will focus on issues affecting women and female-identifed people, and providing resources for them.
^ Respectful men who support women's rights and have something to contribute are welcome. While this group will sometimes discuss the process of dating, it is not a “dating group”, and there will be zero tolerance for harassment or uninvited advances by men.
Scent-free: All of our events are scent-free, so please do not use anything containing fragrance, especially perfumes, before attending. Some people have serious allergies: certain smells and chemicals can trigger asthma, headaches, and other reactions.
Privacy: All members have committed to maintain confidentiality of what is shared at meetings. There are some limitations/exceptions to this, as prescribed by law and/or common sense. They are:
1. facts about a child who is being abused or is abusing others may be reported to the Children's Aid Society;
2. facts about a resident of a seniors' home who is being abused or abusing others may be reported to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care;
3. facts about about sexual abuse by a health-care professional, teacher, etc. may be reported to the appropriate regulatory College; and
4. if there is reason to believe someone may harm themselves or another person, the relevant facts may be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Disclaimer: This is a support group but it must not be considered a substitute for counselling, psychotherapy or other professional services. Any participants with needs beyond what this group can provide will be encouraged to seek other professional assistance.