Annie contacted Sagesse seeking support and connections to individuals with shared experiences of domestic abuse. She had a medical condition that required ongoing support and assistance from her current caregiver, her husband, who was also her abuser. Annie was experiencing ongoing emotional abuse and felt powerless to leave the situation because of her complex medical needs.
Through one of our peer support program, Annie was connected with a mentor who could provide ongoing support and connection. Annie and her mentor together were able to find community, medical and housing resources all while planning for her safety in and out of the relationship. While connecting with community resources, Annie and her mentor also worked through issues of identity and self-esteem and began planning for the emotional healing that Annie wanted to embark on once being through her moment of crisis.
Alongside support from Sagesse and her mentor, Annie was able to create and execute a safe exit plan for leaving her abusive husband. Now, she is within a safe, caring environment where her medical needs are being met, and she is able to continue working with her mentor on issues related to healing and processing the abuse she experienced. Annie and her mentor are also working on finding community resources to continue increasing her social inclusion. Annie says her relationship with Sagesse and her mentor have increased her self-esteem and allowed her to see the possibility of having safe, healthy relationships in her future.
*names have been changed for confidentiality.
More than 30 years ago Sagesse opened our doors when a group of women, including a crisis counsellor and a survivor, recognized a gap in services for women leaving first stage shelters. Over the years, we have expanded and adapted our programs and services to respond to the needs of the populations we serve, in Calgary and throughout Alberta.
Sagesse has been sharing in the journey of healing and self-discovery with women who have experienced domestic abuse or are at risk of being abused. The literal translation of Sagesse is wisdom. Our agency encourages the wisdom to seek help, to support and connect, to share knowledge, to self-reflect, and to create space for healing, learning, and growth.
Sagesse is all about empowerment. We curate environments that empower people, organizations and communities to disrupt structures of domestic abuse. We believe that by working at both the individual and community level, we can affect the most change. We work with more than 50 partner agencies who help to deliver our programs across Alberta. We work for anyone who has experienced domestic abuse, including people who are at risk of being abused, informally support others, or are involved in sex work. While we are best known for our peer support services, the we do much more than that.
Our programs and services include:
Since the start of the pandemic, a “shadow pandemic” appeared that resulted in a 30 percent increase in domestic abuse rates across the world. At Sagesse, we have seen demand for some of our programs increase by as much as 100 percent since 2019. This shadow pandemic of abuse not only added pressure to our sector, but also forced Sagesse to move quicker, think more innovatively, and solve larger problems than it had ever faced before. It has also highlighted exactly how quickly domestic and sexual abuse rates can rise in times of stress. It has made it very clear how much stronger we are when we work collectively to solve complex problems.
Domestic abuse by the numbers:
For more than 30 years, we have shared the journey of healing, self-discovery and growth with individuals from across the province. Our programs are targeted at the micro and macro level, offering support to individuals, organizations and communities through the following initiatives:
Peer Groups & Mentorship
Our peer support groups and one-on-one mentorship provides a safe and welcoming space where women are heard and supported – by other women with similar experiences. Our trained staff and volunteers mindfully facilitate a process of learning how to lead safe, healthy lives.
Domestic Abuse Education & Workshops
Backbone agency of the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective and IMPACT
Creating and managing collective impact requires an organization and staff with a specific set of skills to serve as the backbone for the entire initiative. In the role of backbone, our job is to steward the creation of a vision and strategy for our collective impact initiatives, mobilize funding, and advance policy.
We are the ‘backbone’ for IMPACT, the 300-member provincial collective impact initiative, and the 75-member Calgary Domestic Violence Collective (CDVC). Membership includes non-profit, government, policing and academic organizations.
If you would like to get involved, there are several ways to do so!
Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to run the impactful programming we have in place. Volunteers contribute invaluable time and compassion to our mission, while helping those in need to curate spaces to heal, learn and grow. Our volunteers report learning important transferable skills from their time with Sagesse. Click here to learn more.
There are so many reasons to give.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to give is that people have an unlimited potential to learn and grow. At Sagesse, we believe that when we create space for people, organizations and communities to ‘lean in’ to their vulnerability, it changes everything – for the better. So what do you say?
Let’s change things for the better and put an end to domestic abuse.