Sexual assault survivors find hope and healing at CCS
Written by: Joyce Smith, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Coordinator, CCS
If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault and in need of support, we are here for you. Contact our free and confidential 24-hour hotline through call or text to speak with an advocate at 435-233-5732.
Every April, communities across the country come together in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month as we support survivors and advocate for changes to prevent sexual assault from ever happening in the first place. In addition to our sexual assault prevention work at Canyon Creek Services, we also offer free and confidential support to all survivors of sexual violence.
Sexual assault is the common term people use interchangeably with terms like sexual violence, rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, unwanted sexting, and sex trafficking. While the legal definition varies widely among individual states, generally it can be defined as unwanted sexual contact of any kind where a person is coerced or does not consent to the act regardless of their relationship to the perpetrator or where the assault takes place. Consent for any sexual act needs to be freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific.
If you know someone who has experienced sexual assault, the way you respond to their experience and story can make a big difference in whether or not they will feel supported or continue to seek help. Non-judgmental listening and validating the survivor’s feelings go a long way towards helping a survivor heal. You can say things like:
“I believe you.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“You did not do anything to deserve this.”
“I am here for you if you need to talk.”
“Talking to a therapist or a trusted person can help.”
We are here to support survivors and their loved ones. Information about how to best reach us can be found below.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, please remember:
You are not alone. We at CCS are here for you.
Sexual assault is never your fault.
Your feelings, reactions and questions are normal and similar to others who have been sexually assaulted through no fault of their own.
Sexual assault can happen to anyone.
Sexual assault is a devastating violation of body, mind, and spirit. It takes away your feeling of control and safety no matter who the perpetrator is.
Submitting to sexual assault to save your life, to keep from being hurt, or because you were afraid does not make it any less of a crime - and does not make it your fault.
Canyon Creek Services offers a wide variety of services for survivors and others who have been impacted by sexual assault. Our goal is to support survivors however we can and in whatever ways they need, even if they are not working with law enforcement or choosing to report what happened to them. We are here to explain options, support survivors in their decisions, and refer survivors to other resources available. Our services include, but are not limited to, the following:
Mental health therapy
Help filing requests for court orders such as protective orders and stalking injunctions
24-hour hospital response
Title IX info and advocacy
Emotional support and processing
Services for friends and family members of survivors
Substance use resources
Safety planning for suicidality and self-harm
Law enforcement interview accompaniment
If you are a survivor or know someone who is, you can access our services by calling us or texting on our 24-hour hotline: 435-233-5732 or by visiting our Survivor Services office at 535 S. Main Street, Suite 11 in Cedar City, Monday through Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM.
If a survivor has recently experienced a sexual assault and would like to go to the hospital for either treatment of associated injuries or for a forensic exam to collect DNA evidence, our advocates can be contacted by the hospital staff or through our 24-hour hotline to meet the survivor at the hospital and provide information and emotional support through the process. If you have questions about your options with seeking medical treatment, reporting or any other process related to having experienced sexual assault, we are here for you. What happened to you was not your fault. We believe you.
Canyon Creek Services is hosting a free therapy support group for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault starting on April 1, 2021 called Personal Growth & Empowerment Following Traumatic Experiences. The group will run for six weeks each Thursday from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM. The group will be facilitated by Annette Pelletier, LCSW and childcare is available upon request. The group will be held at the CCS Survivor Services Office at 535 S Main St. #11 Cedar City, UT 84720 (Behind Pork Belly’s, near Smith’s). For more information, please contact Joyce Smith at email@example.com or 435-867-9411 ext. 114. The flier for the group can be accessed here and the link to the Facebook event for this group can be found here.
Our vision at Canyon Creek Services is “Communities Free of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault”. Sexual violence is unfortunately a common occurrence in our community, and we believe that not even one person should have to experience sexual violence of any kind. Our prevention programs at Canyon Creek Services target the root causes of sexual violence and include things like challenging harmful ideas about violence, creating environments where violence is not tolerated, promoting gender equity, advocating for policy change and teaching healthy relationship and consent skills. These strategies help protect our communities by stopping people from becoming perpetrators of violence in the first place. Together, we can work to build safer communities free of domestic and sexual violence.
Canyon Creek Services (CCS) provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield counties. Services include emergency shelter, crisis intervention, information and referral, court and medical advocacy, mental health services, housing advocacy, safety planning and more. Help is available via the 24 hour hotline 435-233-5732 (call or text). CCS also provides awareness, education and prevention services in order to achieve our vision of “Communities Free of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.” For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.