The Families Affected by Sexual Assault [FASA] program has been working with families in Winnipeg for over 30 years. We provide therapy to families with children [under 18 and who are not in care] who have been sexually assaulted by someone who is not a parent or sibling, and when the sexual assault has been reported to Child & Family Services. We believe that parents or guardians are the best resources for their children. In our collaborative work with families, we provide trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate therapy to help children and their families recover.
Families Affected by Sexual Assault
What is Child Sexual Assault?
What follows is not a legal definition. As we have come to understand that what may have had a traumatic impact on children and their families does not necessarily meet legal standards for prosecution or going to court.
Someone inappropriately looking at, talking to and touching a child. It may be that someone asks a child to do this or has the child do this to them. It is usually someone they know or it can be a stranger. It may be someone older, whom they trust, someone their own age, or even someone younger. This person may try to trick or bribe the child. Often kids are told that something bad will happen if they tell.
Looking includes: Someone showing sexually explicit pictures or websites or asking a child to watch pornographic videos, movies or cell phone pictures, or being deliberately exposed to adult sexual activity.
Talking includes: Someone talking inappropriately to a child about adult sexual behaviour, being sent sexually explicit texts, emails, IM’s or chat room messages.
Touching includes: Any inappropriate touching of a child’s private parts or directing the child to touch themselves or someone else.
- A child’s disclosure breaks the silence and begins the recovery process
- When faced with the issues of sexual assault, parents often feel helpless
- The staff of the FASA program is here to help you and your family.
What You Need to Know
- Sexual assault affects all family members
- Parents play an active and essential role in therapy
- Children who have support and understanding will suffer fewer ill effects
- Children can and do recover
If this has happened to you it is very important that you tell an adult that you trust to help you. If this has happened to someone you know it is also important to tell an adult that you trust. Adults can, will, and do believe, they can help.
Therapy in the FASA program is different for each family. It can include talking, playing, drawing, games or writing. It is not a requirement for healing that children talk about what happened to them in detail. In fact we know that this can be more often distressing than helpful. We teach families strategies for coping with thoughts, images, feelings and behaviours that may impact their daily life. We help parents to learn how to help their children at home. We know that families can and do recover after a child has been sexually assaulted.
- We provide therapy to families with children [under 18 and who are not in care] who have been sexually assaulted by someone who is not a parent or sibling, and when the sexual assault has been reported to Child & Family Services
- Sexual assault may include direct or indirect sexual touching; exposure to sexual material on the internet and in movies; sexual interference; sexual exploitation
- There is no wait list for service
- There are no fees
- We accept referrals from Winnipeg and surrounding areas where families are able to travel to Winnipeg to obtain our services