About SAVIS

SAVIS stands for Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services of Halton, and is an organization that offers free and confidential services to survivors. The services we offer can be short or long term in nature, and are open to individuals over the age of 12. Our services are available to individuals regardless of their gender identity – meaning we welcome female-identified, male-identified, transgender, and gender non-binary individuals. SAVIS also operates from a feminist, anti-oppressive framework, we do not discriminate when it comes to race, colour, disability, age or national origin.

We serve the Halton region, however we are happy to provide you with the information for similar service providers operating out of different regions.

Services offered

24/7 Support services

SAVIS provides support to survivors 24/7 by offering a crisis phone line, and a crisis web-chat tool. If you need to talk, simply dial the phone number or click on the ‘start chat’ button on our website. Our 24/7 support services are free, confidential and offer non-judgmental assistance to survivors of sexual assault and violence.

Counselling services

SAVIS provides free and confidential one-on-one counselling services from a feminist perspective. We aim to make our counselling services as accessible as possible, and as a result counselling can be accessed in person (complying with government mask and social distance regulations), online, and over the phone. This includes crisis counselling, accompaniments / support person services, and group counselling as well. In addition to one-on-one counselling, SAVIS also offers group counselling related to a variety of topics such as supporting your loved one, self-care, and body image issues.

Public education

SAVIS offers different public education workshops to schools, community members, and agencies in Halton. There is no cost associated with our public education services either – everything is completely free, which is representative of SAVIS’s commitment to education.  Workshops are available through online platforms as well as in person presentations!

Male Ally Network (M.A.N.)

This SAVIS program engages male-identified clients to challenge the narrow definitions of masculinity through a variety of methods,

Anti-human trafficking supports Services

This initiative is dedicated to supporting survivors of Human Trafficking through a variety of client-centered methods and models of support.

Volunteer program

This vital program assists with many aspects of the services we offer; specifically the crisis line and web chat tool.

What we have accomplished in 2020

2020 has been a tumultuous time for many individuals and organizations, and SAVIS is proud to have helped survivors navigate this time to the best of our ability. Each of our programs has experienced great success, in light of current circumstances. Specifically, our Human Trafficking Program has supported 130 survivors of Human Trafficking, a huge accomplishment which equates to approximately a 40 percent increase in clients when compared to last year’s 87 clients supported. The number of crisis line support calls answered has almost doubled this year, which speaks to the increased need for our services, as well as the hard working nature of our excellent volunteers.  One of our most notable accomplishments thus far has been the introduction of our web-chat tool, an extension of our crisis line which allows individuals to talk to a volunteer electronically, in response to difficulties as a result of COVID-19.

How has COVID-19 affected us

COVID-19 has had profound affects throughout the world, and SAVIS is no exception. We closed our doors for in person counselling at the end of March, and just now in the fall have invited clients back to our offices. The majority of our counselling clients have voiced that they are more comfortable continuing with virtual counselling, therefore we continue to offer zoom and phone counselling sessions. As mentioned above, our web-chat tool was born out of response to the pandemic, namely the struggles survivors voiced regarding finding a safe, quiet space to call into the crisis phone line, when periods of isolation began. This could have been due to children being home from school, or being stuck at home with an abuser. Further, our Human Trafficking program adapted to the needs of clients and began delivering food parcels provided by a local food bank to clients, as money and getting to the store was a large issue for many clients. All in all, COVID has presented new obstacles for SAVIS, as well as the community of survivors we support. We are proud of the resiliency we have witnessed, and humbled that we have been able to support so many individuals during these unprecedented times.

Testimonials

I became involved with SAVIS over 2 years ago when my counsellor at another agency referred me due to leaving a sexually abusive forced marriage. The support, tools and resources your organization provides is unbelievable. In December I received counselling where I was educating and healing myself. I learned a lot from the support that was provided. SAVIS stepped in again and advocated for me when my son was wrongfully apprehended. They helped me achieve shelter and advocated for me during the court where if it wasn’t for their support I would not get my son back. They also advocated for me when I was able to get out of the shelter and in our first home. They bought us beds and other things that I could not afford. I have never felt alone with their support. I was transferred to another agency. I never received any support where your organization offered to come back into my life. They continue to help me become an independent member of society and I never feel alone. Your organization not only believes in survivors but helps support and goes to great lengths to advocate for them.

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Survivor

From my point of view, this program has saved my life and I am totally sure many others. I don’t think that anybody can get out of such a difficult circumstance without their support and expertise. They are different than other government workers who are usually very judgmental with no empathy. Here they know what they are doing with their strong organization, emotional support skills, and ethics. I have been so impressed with the dedication, commitment and passion of those involved with the organization.They are truly inspiring! They are giving us the opportunity to develop our strongest selves, helping us also to step into the world knowing that we have the power to shape our lives and consequently our community. I believe they help to create opportunities for those who are helpless for their future that they may not otherwise have the chance to realize. We all benefit enormously by having the support they give us which empowers us to play an active and good role in society. I am thrilled with the positive changes their support have to produce in me. I love their mission and the people that are part of it. They encourage us with the amazing support to carve our own path and the skills to improve our world and the people around us. The support received goes beyond the housing/food help, it is the real emotional support 24/7 needed in these cases, providing the confidence that otherwise could not be reached by ourselves alone. They basically bring you back the dignity and the dreams that were lost.

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Survivor

Working with you has helped me feel supported in ways that my other service providers could not support me. I feel not only that my emotional needs are being met when I talk to you, and my personal safety needs are being taken care of, but I also feel that I have a friend I can open up to about things I don’t feel comfortable talking about with my family or other service providers. I feel very comfortable and supported by you.

Survivor

Learn More

Find out about our services at 

https://www.savisofhalton.org