We are closely following the sexual assault charges that have been brought against Brent Gabona, a former Shepherd’s Villa staff member. The accused appeared in provincial court by telephone today and entered guilty pleas to three counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual assault of a person with a disability in connection with historical sex assaults between 1992 and 2006. A subsequent court date has been set for October 11th.
The people we support and their families are disturbed that people were harmed in their homes for so long. Self-Advocates who are involved with our ICAN initiative want those who are impacted by today’s news to know that they are not alone. “It is really very sad that this can happen. Everyone who lived at Shepherd’s Villa is in my thoughts today. I hope you can all feel that we are supporting you because we sure are,” says J.S., a self-advocate and member of ICAN.
"We stand with all of the individuals and families who are victims of Brent Gabona. Today marks the first of many steps towards justice," says Inclusion Saskatchewan President, Bluesette Campbell. "People with intellectual disabilities are at a disproportionately high risk of experiencing sexual violence and face significant barriers as they navigate the justice system. We want to see more services made available to people with intellectual disabilities who are involved in the justice system and we are working to create resources for people who are at greater risk of violence because they experience disability."
If you or someone you know is looking for support, these resources can help:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4763)
Government of Saskatchewan - Help from Victim Service Units and Agencies: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/justice-crime-and-the-law/victims-of-crime-and-abuse/help-from-victim-service-units-and-agencies
211 Saskatchewan – Services for People Experiencing Violence & Abuse: https://abuse.sk.211.ca/
Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan (SASS): https://sassk.ca/
Ending Violence Association of Canada: https://endingviolencecanada.org/sexual-assault-centres-crisis-lines-and-support-services/
National Helpline for Men Who Were Sexually Abused or Assaulted: https://1in6.org/helpline/
RAINN- Sexual Assault of Men and Boys: https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-assault-men-and-boys
Disabled Women’s Network of Canada (DAWN): https://www.dawncanada.net/
Tell it Like it is- Sexual Health + Wellness Education: https://nevertmi.ca/