2014 Annual Report

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You can read SACHA’s entire 2014 Annual Report on SACHA’s website. Here’s Chair of SACHA’s Management Committee Rachel Henry and SACHA’s Director, Lenore Lukasik-Foss opening message in the report:

It’s difficult to imagine the challenges facing anti-rape activists in 1975 when they fought to create the “Rape Crisis Centre (Hamilton)”. SACHA’s foremothers boldly confronted entrenched attitudes in our community: that sexual violence is a private matter, that only a few community members are impacted, and that abuse is a random, individual act as opposed to a social phenomenon – an indicator of patriarchy and gender inequality.

It’s staggering to ponder what has changed in 40 years… and infuriating to recognize what remains the same – a persistently high prevalence of adult and childhood sexual violence (including street and workplace harassment), rape culture, and a criminal system that fails most survivors.

This year we celebrate the accomplishments of SACHA and look forward to the day when sexual violence no longer impacts women, men, and children in our communities. Continue reading

#WeBelieveSurvivors – Take Back the Night

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TBTN Poster English FINAL 2015TBTN Poster French FINAL 2015Use your voice! Take a stand against victim blaming and to support survivors of sexual violence. Lets let the entire world know that we believe survivors!

Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA — Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) — is a powerful opportunity for all woman-identified folks to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against violence.

This year’s event will include puppets, information tables, Take Back the Night t-shirts and buttons, drumming, Zumba, sign making, music, some surprises and, of course, a loud and empowered march! See you there!

When: Thursday, September 17th, 2015

6:00pm – We Gather
7:00pm – We Rally
7:30pm – We March

Where: Hamilton City Hall – 71 Main Street, Hamilton ON
Who: Women-Identified Folks and Children are welcome!

Read about why we organize Take Back the Night as a space for women to speak out against violence here.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #TBTN2015,#WeBelieveSurvivors & #HamOnt!

For more information or to request ASL interpretation, contact SACHA:
905.525.4573
sacha@sacha.ca
www.sacha.ca

More information about the workshop for male allies coming soon!

Time for Change is Here

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We are hearing a lot lately about sexual violence in the military. Marie Deschamps released a report about the issue.  Julie Lalonde has been in the media after her experience of sexual harassment during a presentation at Royal Military College and then the harassment and death threats she received after going public about the abuse.

The Ottawa Coalition Against Violence Against Women, Sexual Assault Network Ottawa, and Draw The Line wrote an open letter to the Canadian Armed Forces:

Dear Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF),

We understand that within the last month, you’ve been facing a lot of criticism about a sexual violence in the military. We also understand that your initial reaction to this criticism might be to say, “#NotAllSoldiers.”

Let us be clear: The criticism you are facing is not directed at any one member of the Forces, but rather a culture that permits, excuses, and minimizes the experience of sexual assault and harassment in the military.

You’ve been given an opportunity by Madame Deschamps’s report to challenge and change this culture. Indeed, it is the CAF’s opportunity to go above and beyond the ‘call of duty’ that she laid out in her report. The proven benefits of prevention are founded in its ability to address the normalization and minimization of sexual violence. Through the consistent challenging of sexist attitudes and violent behaviour, a culture which permits sexual violence will be eliminated. Without direct, decisive, and consistent action a culture of violence will continue to thrive. The CAF also needs to take steps to truly believe survivors and provide adequate support when violence does occur. Transformation can only occur by:

1. Calling sexual violence what it is. This is a not “pressing desires,” it is not “biological wiring.” Even the language of “sexual misconduct” minimizes the severity of what we are talking about. Sexual violence is an inexcusable exercise of power which is meant to dehumanize and violate another person’s human rights. Continue reading

#SACHAturns40 with Your Help

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Whoa. We’re celebrating forty years of SACHA tonight.  It’s both super special and unbelievable.

We couldn’t have gotten here or do the work that we do to support survivors and end violence without help and kindness from our community.  Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us in the last forty years. The survivors who founded the Rape Crisis Centre (Hamilton). The volunteers who answer the Support Line. The folks who plan events and make them run smoothly. The donors who help fund all our programs.

We appreciate you.

There are some specific folks who helped make tonight’s event happen that we’d like to thank as well:

All the details:

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Annual General Meeting

Hear exciting SACHA program highlights and lean about amazing ways that volunteers are enriching SACHA.

When: Thursday June 11, 2015 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Where: Hamilton Public Library, 4th Floor – 55 York Boulevard, Hamilton ON

Speaker’s Panel

The World We Want: Feminists Talk will be a discussion between some kick ass intersectional feminists about where we have been, who inspires us, and what we want in the future.

When: Thursday June 11, 2015 from 6:30pm-7:30pm
Where: Hamilton Public Library, 4th Floor – 55 York Boulevard, Hamilton ON

Featuring:

  • Danielle Be – Anishnaabe kwe, an Original woman of Turtle Island, she works everyday to reclaim and re-embody the knowledge and ways of living that were stolen from her through colonialism, patriarchy and capitalism
  • Farrah Khan – Crafty Muslim feminist and anti gender based violence advocate, committed to healing justice
  • Julie S. Lalonde – Ottawa-based public educator and women’s rights advocate
  • Poe Liberado – genderqueer, pansexual, hard femme robot, and chair of Space Between
  • With fabulous moderator Pauline Kajiura  – former SACHA staff and Executive Director of Information Hamilton
  • As well as a performance by the Tuesday Night Choir.

FREE event! All genders welcome.

Join the conversation by using the hastag #SACHAturns40

Accessibility: The library is fully accessible, including washrooms.

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Dance Party

WE WANT TO DANCE!

When: Thursday June 11, 2015 8:00 p.m. until midnight
Where: The Spice Factory – 121 Hughson Street North, Hamilton ON. Come around to the left side of the building.
Cost: Sliding scale – $0-$5. FREE for SACHA volunteers.
Accessibility: The entire event is physically accessible, including washrooms.

Featuring DJ Laura Reid and duo DJs Kristin A/B!

SHARE Program Starts June 10th

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Hamilton has never had a sexual health program only for cis and trans women, until now!

SHARE stands for Sexual Health and Risk Education. This is a program for cis women and trans women who want straightforward support for their sexual health and/or harm-reduction needs.

SHARE intends to create a space that feels safe and comfortable for women to ask questions, share experiences and knowledge. Learning from our peers – peeps we trust – is the best way to spread knowledge and empower each other!

The program will run on every second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 2-4pm in the basement of the YWCA at 75 McNab Street South.

The first session is on June 10th, and will be a conversation about HepC followed by opportunity to connect one-on-one with the fabulous nurse, Sharon.

This non-judgemental and confidential women’s program includes access to:

  • Rapid HIV testing
  • HepC testing
  • Plan B pill and condoms
  • Naloxolone and overdose prevention training
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Harm reduction supplies and information