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Safe Passages

Safe Passages is a healing program for women who have experienced sexual exploitation. The Safe Passages Program allows survivors a consistent, safe environment to begin the process of healing from the layers of traumatic incidents they have been exposed to through sexual exploitation.

There are 3 components to the Program (survivors will participate in all three):

  • A 4-week pre-retreat group. 
  • In preparation for participating in the Safe Passages retreat, women will participate in a 4 week pre-group (one two-hour group session each week, for four weeks). In this group, women will meet other program members, meet program staff and prepare for the healing retreat experience.
  • A 1-week healing retreat. 
  • The Safe Passages healing retreat (women remain on-site at the retreat for a week) will provide survivors with a structured and safe program that allows women to understand the impacts of sexual exploitation, and provides intensive therapeutic strategies for long term healing and wellness.
  • A 2-week post-retreat group. 
  • Upon completion of the healing retreat, the women will participate in a 2-week post-group to help them integrate their learning from the retreat into their day to day lives.

How does the Safe Passages Healing retreat work?

The retreat is a one-week healing component of the overall program. During the Safe Passages retreat, women stay on-site at the retreat location for one week and participate in healing and self-care activities. During this time, the program provides survivors with a structured and safe program that supports them to understand the impacts of sexual exploitation and provides intensive therapeutic strategies for long-term healing and wellness.

Daily activities include group and individual support, body work, breath work, trauma recovery work, art, bundle and mask making, solitude and ceremonial fires.  Women will have access to various relaxation treatments, a pool, a sauna and a variety of self-care and land and water fitness activity options.

The location of the retreat is in Ramara, Ontario.  Each woman stays in her own bedroom with a three-piece bathroom. A trauma counsellor will be on site, including all overnights, to offer support to participants, as needed. All meals are included for the week and we accommodate all dietary restrictions (just let us know).  We can provide travel to and from the retreat (within York Region).

What is the registration fee for Safe Passages Program?

There is no cost for survivors to participate in Safe Passages groups and healing retreat. This Program is funded by the Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

Who should take part in Safe Passages?

Safe Passages welcomes any woman (aged 18 and up) who has experienced trafficking and sexual exploitation to participate. Women who wish to participate in the program should commit to take part in all three components: the pre-retreat group, the healing retreat itself, and the post-retreat group.

Please note that Safe Passages may not be a good fit for survivors who are in crisis, have exited a trafficking situation very recently, those who have not yet developed basic emotional coping skills, and those who do not have basic practical necessities (i.e. safe housing, access to food) in their day to day lives.

How can you refer to Safe Passages, or learn more?

If you know a trafficked survivor who could benefit from this therapeutic intervention, please get in touch with us! If you are interested in referring to a client, or have any questions contact us at 905.895.3646 or by email at info@womenssupportnetwork.ca.

For more information please read our Safe Passages Community Letter 2020

“Our vision is to eradicate sexual violence.”

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