The Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE) exists to support people impacted by sexual violence and engage communities to promote respect and uphold a culture of consent.
People impacted by sexual violence are believed and offered caring guidance to heal, and the attitudes and behaviours that contribute to a community free of sexual violence are developed and sustained.
Our Core Beliefs
- People can heal;
- People are the experts on their own experiences and needs, and healing looks different for each individual;
- Sexual violence is any form of non-consensual sexual behaviour, including sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, and sexual violence facilitated through technology;
- People who experience sexual violence are never at fault;
- People who experience sexual violence should be believed and supported;
- Sexual violence is an abuse of power and trust;
- People who experience sexual violence should have access to inclusive, professional services regardless of age, race, gender, culture, language, religion, sexual orientation, or ability;
- Financial barriers should not prevent people from receiving specialized support services;
- True sexual violence prevention and support involves acknowledging the intersecting oppressions and privileges that shape a person’s experience;
- Sexual violence is a societal issue that communities have a responsibility to address, and it is through the combined efforts of community members that cultural change will be fostered and sustained. Volunteers, leaders, and funders are integral to creating this community of support.
What We Do
We’re here for all people who have experienced sexual assault. People of any age, gender, sexual orientation, and background can access our services without judgment. Their loved ones need us too—we help them feel confident in the support they’re providing. And when the public is grappling with issues related to sexual assault, SACE is there to educate our community and provide a professional perspective.
To do this, our mandate at SACE is to provide an extensive range of support services for people who experience sexual violence, including: crisis support, counselling, court support, and advocacy. We also aim to foster prevention of sexual violence through direct public education and advisory consultation with groups and agencies undertaking their own prevention efforts.
In 1975, SACE was incorporated as a not-for-profit society known as the Rape Crisis Centre of Edmonton. The organization was initiated by a coalition of Edmontonians from the Edmonton Social Planning Council, YWCA, hospitals, and social service agencies. These Edmontonians were concerned about the amount of sexual violence in our community and the lack of services available to the survivors of this violence.
The doors of the agency first opened with a part-time coordinator, a number of dedicated volunteers, and a crisis telephone line that offered people who experienced sexual assault or abuse access to a trained listener. In 1981, the agency changed its name to the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton to reflect a shift to a more inclusive concept of “sexual assault”. In 1983, federal legislation removed the term “rape” from the criminal code, and substituted this with “sexual assault”.
Over the decades SACE has evolved into a professional organization now offering a 24-Hour Support and Information Line as well as counselling, public education, advocacy, and organizing work with diverse communities. We are constantly learning and growing to better meet the needs of our clients and community- but we have never forgotten our grassroots beginning or the importance of volunteers to the organization.