The primary work of the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS) is to provide leadership, coordination and collaboration of sexual assault services in Alberta. The AASAS member agencies and services are responsible for day-to-day front line delivery of services within their local communities and regional areas. To contact a sexual assault centre, visit Get Support.
As a provincial support organization, AASAS focuses its efforts in these key areas:
- Awareness: AASAS works to increase public and government awareness of issues involving sexual abuse and sexual assault and the impacts they have on Albertans.
- Access: AASAS strives to ensure that all Albertans affected by sexual abuse and sexual assault have access to healing and recovery programs, services and supports
- We believe anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse and sexual assault.
- We believe anyone affected by sexual abuse and sexual assault has the right to access effective, affordable, and timely services that are distinct and specialized.
- We believe everyone has the capacity and resiliency to recover from sexual abuse and sexual assault.
- We believe victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault are not to blame and perpetrators must be held accountable.
- We believe society minimizes the impact of sexual abuse and sexual assault on individuals and that minimization has devastating outcomes for survivors.
- We believe society minimizes the crime of sexual abuse and sexual assault, and this must change in order to address and prevent issues of violence.
- We believe services addressing sexual abuse and sexual assault need to be delivered in an inclusive, respectful, and equitable manner regardless of ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or ability.
- We believe there is a need for increased recognition and support for existing and emerging sexual assault services in Alberta.
- We believe education and awareness initiatives need to be targeted at everyone.
- We believe prevention initiatives are not to be targeted to survivors or potential survivors but towards perpetrators and potential perpetrators as well as those who can intervene.
- We believe that treatment is a form of prevention because healthy individuals and healthy communities break the cycle of abuse.
- We believe in the need for treatment and for greater access to treatment for perpetrators of sexual abuse and sexual assault.
Since the late 1980’s, representatives from the sexual assault centres in Alberta increasingly recognized the need for a provincial body to support a more collaborative, coordinated approach to sexual violence service delivery in Alberta. Fragmented services, rural and urban inequities and lack of sustainable funding for programs highlighted the need for a more unified provincial effort. In 1993, the Alberta Association of Sexual Assault Centres (AASAC) was incorporated as a registered charity with a view to addressing this need.
In 2010, the organization underwent a name change to the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS) to reflect the fact that some communities do not have independent infrastructures of sexual assault centres but are delivering a range of sexual violence services to their communities. It was the intent of the founding members that AASAS would act as an umbrella organization for members engaged in various forms of service delivery throughout the province. Rather than deliver front‐line services AASAS would act as an intermediary focused on improving the effectiveness of the sexual violence sector and facilitating its further development.