‘Abuse is still hap­pen­ing’

SOAR seek­ing to raise funds to pay bills, ex­tend hours of paid co-or­di­na­tor

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA BERWICK Sara.Eric­s­son@kingscountynews.ca

A sup­port group for child­hood sex­ual abuse sur­vivors is host­ing an up­com­ing event to raise funds to help them as­sist the com­mu­nity.

Sur­vivors of Abuse Re­cov­er­ing, also known as SOAR, is a Kentville-based sup­port or­ga­ni­za­tion that of­fers peer-led con­fi­den­tial sup­port groups for sur­vivors — male, fe­male, trans, gen­der-queer or oth­er­wise — across the prov­ince, and pro­vides ex­ten­sive week­s­long train­ing pro­grams for group lead­ers.

The fund-rais­ing event will be held Oct. 13 at the Kings Mu­tual Cen­tury Cen­tre in Berwick for the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 25th an­niver­sary, and will fea­ture a din­ner and silent auc­tion.

All funds raised will go to­ward help­ing the non-profit pay its reg­u­lar bills and also ex­pand its paid co-or­di­na­tor po­si­tion, ac­cord­ing to chair­woman and found­ing mem­ber Karen Martin.

“Our co-or­di­na­tor po­si­tion will in­crease from seven to 10 paid hours per week, which means we will be able to bet­ter reach peo­ple, and en­sure we don’t miss sur­vivors’ calls,” says Martin.

Rita van Vulpen is a re­tired com­mu­nity men­tal health nurse and has been in­volved with SOAR for nearly two decades. She says a missed call can mean on­go­ing, un­treated trauma for sur­vivors who’ve never yet spo­ken out about the sex­ual abuse they en­dured.

She says this is why more fund­ing and more co-or­di­nat­ing hours will serve the or­ga­ni­za­tion and the sur­vivors it sup­ports so well.

“Here is an or­ga­ni­za­tion with peo­ple who’ve gone through that ex­pe­ri­ence and re­cov­ery, who can now come from the per­spec­tive of hav­ing walked in their shoes,” says van Vulpen.

“When peo­ple make the call, you need to ad­dress it im­me­di­ately. That mo­ment of brav­ery is lost if we aren’t able to an­swer right away.”

Martin hopes some funds can also go to­ward as­sist­ing with things like travel costs and al­ter­na­tive trans­porta­tion for SOAR group mem­bers to ac­cess meet­ings.

“Not only does it help the client, it helps the fam­ily, the client’s work­place — peer sup­port is a pow­er­ful tool, and helps the sur­vivor in all as­pects of their life,” says Martin.

“Sur­vivors aren’t go­ing away be­cause abuse is still hap­pen­ing, so we need to be in the busi­ness of stay­ing in busi­ness so we can con­tinue help­ing peo­ple.”

To con­tact SOAR about their peer-sup­port ser­vices and/or this event, phone 902-679-7337.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.