Reasons Not to Come to TBTN #3 – I Don’t Belong There

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Take Back the Night is coming up on Thursday, September 17th. We’re taking some time before the event to look at some of the reasons folks might not want to come to TBTN.

Reasons Not to Come to TBTN #3 – I don’t belong there

Some folks worry that Take Back the Night is only for survivors. Or only for survivors who have told their story. Or only for survivors who speak about their story in a certain way or are in a certain place in their healing journey. Or only for activists.

There is no right or wrong way for a survivor to heal or to act.

Survivors, friends, and family are welcome to come to Take Back the Night. Continue reading

Reason #2 Not to Come to TBTN – Didn’t Know that Sexual Assault is an Issue in Hamilton

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Take Back the Night is coming up on Thursday,  September 17th. We’re taking some time before the event to look at some of the reasons folks might not want to come to TBTN.

Reason #2 – I didn’t know that sexual assault is an issue in Hamilton.

It makes sense that you have not heard that sexual assault is a problem in Hamilton because sexual assault is still not talked about and very hidden. One in three women and one in six men will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

Part of Take Back the Night is letting people know that sexual assault is still an issue in our community and to also let folks know that people care about ending violence.

For many folks either being a person who cares about ending sexual violence or being a survivor of violence is a really isolating experience.

Joining hundreds and hundreds of others fighting sexual assault at TBTN can be a powerful reminder that you are not alone – either in your experiences, or in taking a stand against sexual violence. Continue reading

The Cost of Sexual Violence

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According to a 2013 Statistics Canada survey five types of violent crime have a combined economic impact of  12.7 billion dollars. This can include lost wages, medical costs, court costs, and social welfare costs.

From the Toronto Star article that covered the survey’s findings:

  • By far the largest single cost — $4.8 billion of the total — was attributed to sexual assault and other sexual offences, crimes in which more than 90 per cent of victims were women.
  • Victims bore most of the costs for all five types of crime, $10.6 billion, with criminal justice system and third-party costs far behind.
  • “The victims bear the greatest burden of the impacts, much of it intangible, and family, friends and employers can also be burdened,” the authors conclude…“The impacts are eventually felt by all Canadians in the form of public spending on the justice system and social services.”
  • “Understanding and being aware of the costs of crime, particularly as they impact victims, can result in more effective and timely crime interventions,” said department spokesman Andrew Gowing.
  • Previous Justice Canada studies, using the same methodology, examined the economic cost of all crimes that occurred in 2008 ($99.6 billion); of gun crimes in the same year ($3.1 billion); and of spousal violence that occurred in 2009 ($7.4 billion).”

It’s in all of our interests to work to end sexual violence.

Reason #1 Not to Come to TBTN – I’ve Never Heard of It

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Take Back the Night is coming up on Thursday, September 17th. We’re taking some time before the event to look at some of the reasons folks might not want to come to TBTN.

Reason #1 – I’ve never heard of Take Back the Night

We’ve been celebrating Take Back the Night in Hamilton since 1981 and unfortunately lots of folks have still not heard about it. Just like lots of folks in Hamilton don’t know about the amazing work that SACHA is doing.

Let your friends know about how they can take action to end gendered violence.

Help spread the word about Take Back the Night!

Continue reading

Highlights from Welcome Week Training

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In one week SACHA trained over 1500 Welcome Week faculty reps, residence reps, as well as residence life staff Community Advisors. The forty minute training is an introduction to the statistics, Canadian law, rape myths, rape culture, and taking action.

For a longer recap, check out this storify.

We start out every workshop talking about about SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line. Welcome Week reps can call the line if they have questions about supporting survivors, bystander intervention, and taking action to end rape culture.

We cover Canadian sexual assault law, what is sexual violence, and some quick statistics about sexual violence.

We ask folks what they look for in friends:

We confront some myths and lies that we’re taught about rape.

We talked about examples of rape culture in the media, at the bar, on the bus, and during Welcome Week:

Participants thought of ways that they can take action to end sexual violence every day.

Final thoughts:

Ending rape culture and creating a culture of consent takes more than one forty minute conversation. We’re excited to keep up the momentum and continue to have conversations throughout the year!

If you’d like to invite SACHA to lead a workshop with your group contact SACHA’s Public Education Coordinator, Erin Crickett – erin@sacha.ca.

Taking Action to End Sexual Violence

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Ending sexual violence feels like a GIANT task, but there are small things that you can do every single day to work both to create a culture of consent, to stand up against rape culture, to question victim blaming, and to support survivors.

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  • Learn more about sexual violence – Listen to survivor stories, how abusers use power and control, how different forms of oppression intersect, recognizing rape culture happening every day, what enthusiastic consent looks like. So much to learn!
  • Practice your consent skills – It’s not just for sex! Asking for a hug or checking to see if you can take someone’s photo is a great way to practice consent every day.
  • Think and prepare – Treat bystander intervention like first aid! Read up on what you could do before situations happen. Talk with friends, read articles, brainstorm ideas.
  • Take ACTION! – Now that you’ve thought about it, use one of your many tools to challenge oppressive or sketchy behaviour.
  • Speak OUT! – Create a video, zine, piece of art, write a blog post, post articles and infographics, talk with friends.
  • Support Survivors – Listen to them. Believe them. Ask them how you can help.

Need someone to bounce ideas off of? Call SACHA’s Support Line to talk about how you can take action every day – 905.525.4162.