The first CALACS were created in the 1970s. They were born in the wake of the women's movement which helped to look at sexual assaults in a new way.
At the time, several women’s groups demonstrated that the court system provided neither the protection nor the right to safety and freedom of women. Too often, the police considered 'rape cases' as groundless and hospitals would refuse to treat women victims of sexual assaults. Moreover, the groups deplored that social services would look at victims as marginal clients. In addition, there were many prejudices in the population regarding the problem, and regarding women who were the main victims.
It is in this environment that the first CALACS was created in the province of Quebec in 1975. Currently, there are about 30 centres in the province, many of which are members of RQCALACS.
RQCALACS was created in 1979 in order to provide its members with a place to get support, to share, to enable renewal, to get training and to discuss matters related to their mission. Since its creation, it has weaved a strong network across Quebec, a network that grew over the years and that is now connected with a large number of women. It has become a social component deeply rooted in the community. RQCALACS aims to be a unifying and solidifying participant in the fight against sexual assaults.
The Quebec Coalition of Sexual Assault Centers (RQCALACS) and its members highlight, on Friday September 21st 2018, the 37th day of action on sexual violence against women by launching a new campaign: Ça me regarde!
C’est avec déception que nous avons pris connaissance du reportage où est diffusé un extrait d’une animation tirée du programme Empreinte – Agir ensemble contre les agressions à caractère sexuel. Le traitement médiatique qui a été réservé à ce thème délicat mais ô combien essentiel, met en lumière les défis que rencontrent les initiatives de prévention et de sensibilisation dans un contexte où les mythes et préjugés prennent parfois le dessus sur les droits de chacun et chacune de vivre une vie exempte de violence.
The Calacs launche the campaign #WeBelieveYou : « a plateform to commemorate the courage of thousands of women who at the time of the movement #BeenRapedNeverReported a year ago in November 2014 chose to tell their story or to denounce the sexual violence they had experienced. It is also a way to send a clear and unequivocal message to the victims: we believe you and to the relatives and loved ones: believe them», explains Nathalie Duhamel.