we serve these populations

  • children and youth
  • women

we need help with:

  • domestic violence

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.

Stories like this are why we exist.

More than 35 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 throughout Alberta.

Sagesse has been sharing in the journey of healing and self-discovery with individuals who have experienced domestic abuse or are at risk of being abused, and the family, friends, neighbours and colleagues who support them. 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 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:

  • Peer support groups and mentorship for people who have experienced domestic abuse, are at risk of being abused, or that have been involved in sex work.
  • Domestic abuse education and workshops to organizations about the experience of domestic abuse within 2SLGBTQ+ communities and informal support networks about how to recognize domestic abuse, respond (based on the situation), and refer to the appropriate supports.
  • Backbone organization for the provincial IMPACT collective action initiative working to stop violence before it starts.

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:

  • 30 to 40: percentage of Canadian women who experience partner abuse in their lifetime (Statistics Canada).
  • 76: number of domestic abuse incidents resulting in 117 deaths in Alberta between 2008 and 2014.
  • $600 million: amount of money that domestic violence costs Albertans in basic health and non-health supports over a five-year period (Shift: the project to end domestic violence)

For more than 35 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.

  • Step Forward: This unique peer-support program is open to anyone impacted by domestic abuse who is looking to connect with someone for support. Participants are paired with a peer who they can connect with in-person, by phone or via email to discuss issues that are relevant to your current situation and experiences.
  • Finding Our Voices: This six-week group program focuses on issues related to self-esteem. Participants discuss self-image, effective communication, shame, compassion and healthy relationships.
  • Growth Circle: Growth Circle is a 14-week group program that delves into the experience of domestic abuse. Topics range from understanding the effects of abuse, shame and compassion, to creating healthy support systems, building personal power and integrating new skills moving forward. We recommend participants complete the Finding Our Voices program prior to registering for Growth Circle.
  • BElieve in YOU:  BElieve in YOU is a 20-week group program for sex workers who have experienced coercive control. We recognize that 85% of those involved in sex work are also at a high risk of experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Stand By: This  drop-in online workshop is available to anyone interested in learning how to recognize domestic violence, understanding its impact on an individual and the community, and developing comfort in responding to domestic violence disclosures, including providing appropriate support and referrals to services.

Domestic Abuse Education & Workshops

  • Real Talk: REAL Talk is a guide to help us understand and talk openly about domestic abuse. Chances are you are close to or know someone impacted by domestic abuse. REAL Talk includes valuable information to teach you how recognize abuse, respond with empathy, ask questions and listen. REAL Talk isn’t fancy or complicated. It’s just a moment between two people.
  • Rainbow Ready: This capacity-building program aims to provide organizations service providers and agencies the knowledge and skills to provide safe, inclusive service to 2SLGBTQ+ individuals experiencing domestic abuse. If agencies have the knowledge, tools and capacity to identify the unique stressors and realities that impact 2SLGBTQ+ people experiencing abuse, then they will provide safe, inclusive and culturally relevant services and supports. The program also puts learning into practice by including an organizational audit, with examination of physical space, promotional documentation and guiding policies and procedures. It also includes a one-day, specialized training workshop, designed to meet each agency’s unique needs.

Backbone agency of 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 with membership including non-profit, government, policing and academic organizations.

If you would like to get involved, there are several ways to do so!

1. Volunteer:

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.

2. Donate

There are so many reasons to give.

  • Help survivors heal after years of being abused by the person they loved and trusted the most.
  • Equip all Albertans with the skills to know what to do and say when someone they know is being abused.
  • Help other organizations understand how to support 2SLGBTQ+ people who have experienced domestic abuse.

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.

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Sagesse Communications



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Charity Number: #105200430RR0001

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Financial Statements / Annual Reports

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