Were You Abused By a Medical Professional?

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Postcard SATF OCRCCOntario has appointed a task force to look into improving policy to prevent and respond to sexual abuse of patients by regulated health professionals.

Why is this Task Force important?
Patients rely on their care providers for information, help and privacy.  Sexual abuse by regulated healthcare professionals can occur silently, and behind closed doors. Often, very vulnerable women and men are targeted. As sexual assault survivor advocates, we know that sexual abuse by health professionals happens. The Task Force is now working to connect with survivors and learn from their experiences.

What is a “regulated health professional?”
There are more than 20 regulated health professions in Ontario. Regulated health professionals are overseen by an organization (called a College); the College makes sure that the health professional is ethical and doing their job properly.

In Ontario, “regulated health professionals” include the following health professionals:

  • Doctors
  • Midwives
  • Chiropodists and podiatrists
  • Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Opticians
  • Dentists and dental hygienists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Psychologists
  • Massage therapists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Medical laboratory technologists
  • Speech-language pathologists

My organization/group/I am in touch with survivors of patient sexual abuse. What can I do?
If you are a survivor of patient sexual abuse – or you are working with survivors of patient sexual abuse — and want to share your experiences, please get in touch with the Task Force this April.

We can tell you about what to expect if you decide to take part in an interview. We can also book an interview with you, if you decide to do so.

Private and supportive interviews available. Assistance to participate (i.e. travel) and other supports provided. Or just get in touch to learn more!

I want to know more.
Questions? Want to participate?

SACHA Volunteers For the Win

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It’s National Volunteer week!

We cannot even begin to describe how strong, dedicated, and amazing all of our SACHA volunteers are.

Last year SACHA volunteers donated over 9022 hours to not only help with SACHA’s day to day operations, but also to make our centre brighter more welcoming place.

Volunteers strengthen SACHA with their fabulous gifts, enthusiasm, and skills. Continue reading

SACHA Celebrating 40 Years of Fabulousness

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SACHA has been working to support survivors and end sexual violence since 1975.

We’ve come up with lots of exciting ways to celebrate forty years in the Hamilton community.  Follow our blog or keep you eye on our events page to stay in the loop with what we have planned.

Were you involved in SACHA in the early years – 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s?

Did you come to SACHA for support? Did you volunteer or work at SACHA? Did you come to a SACHA event like International Women’s Day or Take Back the Night?

Please contact us! We would love to hear your story – sacha@sacha.ca.

We asked folks at Mohawk College about their thoughts about SACHA’s 40th birthday:

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Would you like to share your SACHA love? Take a picture of yourself with your message for SACHA and email it to sacha@sacha.ca.

Survive to Thrive Workshops

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Trauma informed conference May 7th 2015 (word)May is Sexual Violence Prevention Month.

SACHA is helping to organizing a conference about trauma informed support on May 7th – Survive to Thrive.

For all the details about registering and location click here.

Here’s more information about what the day will look like:

Morning – 8:45am-12pm
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lori Haskell Followed by Melissa’s story

Lunch – 12pm-1pm Afternoon – 1pm-4pm

Breakout sessions.
Each breakout session will have a collaborative focus. The sessions will be interactive, participatory, and discussion based with an opportunity for sharing information across the Developmental Services and Violence Against Women sectors. Continue reading

The Need for Feminist Zine Fairs

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By Amy Egerdeen

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The Need for a Feminist Zine Fair

We started organizing the first ever Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair (HFZF) around the need for a space that celebrates the voices of folks who are traditionally isolated and ignored, and engage in a larger conversation about feminist zine-making and self-publishing.

We started working towards the HFZF with previous feminist and social justice minded zine fairs in mind – the Philly Feminist Zine Fest and the NYC Feminist Zine Fest specifically, as well as the amazing Toronto Queer Zine Fair. These fairs were total inspiration to us – spaces that prioritize feminist, queer, and other typically marginalized voices.

We put the HFZF together with lots of their values in mind, and with feedback from these fair’s co-organizers. Talking to these zine fair organizers – who also all make their own zines –helped us to further build community between zine fairs and zine-makers, and learn more about what is going on outside of Hamilton / southern Ontario.

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We asked all applicants to the HFZF to talk about why they thought a feminist zine fair might be important. The answers confirmed the need for a specifically feminist space for zine-makers – they talked about the isolation of internet-based publishing, and the need for a physical space for community building; they wrote in-depth about feeling ignored or othered by traditional zine fairs, and the way the major zine fairs were dominated by the same voices; there was excitement about the possibility of a new space with opportunities to connect and collaborate with other feminist zine-makers and self-publishers.

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The HFZF included a zine fair with 40 vendors, diverse all-day workshops, and a collaboratively-made zine by the attendees and tablers of the HFZF. There were tons of stand-out zines and projects being showcased: two of the zine-makers tabling that day – Luisana Alejandra & Anamaria V. de Caballeros, a mother-daughter collaborative project – had their zine, Women of Action, about “women empowerment and civic engagement”, which includes everything from a basic overview of the Canadian political system to a discussion about abusive relationships specifically geared toward women newcomers. Another zine-maker, Asha Ali, brought her zine The YPJ – about “the female brigade of YPG, the people’s protection units in the Kurdish territory of Syria… an all women, all-volunteer Kurdish military faction.” (from Asha’s HFZF application). It sold out within the first half of the day.

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In the collaborative zine we made during the fair, we asked tablers and attendees to answer the question: what does your ideal feminist community look like? The answers echoed the same need for feminist community in zine-making: the need for support, the excitement of building bridges in our communities, the power that comes from making our voices heard, collectively and as individuals.

Look out for the next HFZF, coming fall 2015! More opportunities for celebration and collaboration, and a space to discover new zines and the amazing folks making them.

Find out more about the Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair here!

Originally published on Broken Pencil’s blog.

Say Yes to Consent Education

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Guest post by Sam Godfrey, a member of McMaster’s Student Health Education Centre ‘s executive

“What’s sex?”

I propped myself up on my leopard patterned pillows, taking a bird’s-eye view of my mother from my top bunk. If she was taken off guard by the question, she didn’t show it. Resting her chin on folded hands and speaking softly, my mother gave me a calm and patient introduction to sex.

Since then I’ve received many versions of ‘The Talk,’ but no matter who was teaching – be it friends or instructors or HBO – there was always something missing.

There are a lot of ways to have sex involving a myriad of types of people and versions of body parts. Some sex is gentle and loving, and some sex is rough and lustful. Some is between two or three or more people, and some is solo. Some sex is complex and inventive and creative and totally magically unique. Some sex is not.

But for all its diversities and possibilities, there is one thing that is absolutely intrinsic to sex: consent.

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