No More Murdered Women

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We are hurting that there was another femicide in Hamilton. We remember, grieve, and fight for Natasha Thompson.

Here’s a whole post of ways to recognize violence and how to help.

Lots of friends ask ‘Why didn’t she just leave?’ without realizing how complex the abuse is and that the most dangerous time for a survivor is when they leave the relationship.

How we can help a friend: You can never ever go wrong with believing them and saying “I’m here to help”. Listening, validating, and letting someone know what’s happening to them is abuse and not ok.

Supporting survivors like first aid; we should be practicing the skills before we ever think that we would need them.

Learning what is an isn’t violence is the first step.

We’ve got LOTS of resources on our website on how to take everyday action, #BystanderIntervention#SupportingSurvivors, and you can always call our 24 Hour Support Line if you’re worried about a friend – 905.525.4162.

Neighbours, Friends and Families has created a list of warning signs that an abusive relationship might be lethal including:

– He has access to her and her children
– He has access to weapons
– He has a history of abuse with her or others
– He has threatened to harm or kill her if she leaves him: He says “If I can’t have you, no one will.”
– He threatens to harm her children, her pets or her property
– He has threatened to kill himself
– He has hit her, choked her
– He is going through major life changes (e.g. job, separation, depression)
– He is convinced she is seeing someone else
– He blames her for ruining his life
– He doesn’t seek support
– He watches her actions, listens to her telephone conversations, sees her emails and follows her
– He has trouble keeping a job
– He takes drugs or drinks every day
– He has no respect for the law
– She has just separated or is planning to leave
– She fears for her life and for her children’s safety or she cannot see her risk
– She is in a custody battle, or has children from a previous relationship
– She is involved in another relationship
– She has unexplained injuries
– She has no access to a phone
– She faces other obstacles (e.g. she does not speak English, is not yet a legal resident of Canada, lives in a remote area)
– She has no friends or family

Women who are under 25 years of age, disabled women, Indigenous women, and women living common-law experience violence at much higher rates.

If you are experiencing violence in a relationship: You are worthwhile. You are powerful. We are here for you. It is possible to live without violence.

It is possible to have a world without violence and we look forward to building that world with you.

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Unmasking Rape Culture Conference

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This conference is incredible and FREE!

Art[4]Change: Unmasking Rape Culture explores the intersection of contemporary art, gender, and sexuality through the lens of scholars, activists, performances, and visual artists.

When & Where?

Thursday, November 23rd – 12pm to 5pm
McMaster University’s L.R Wilson Hall
1280 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8

Following with the opening reception of 20 Minutes of Action exhibition from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM at McMaster Fitzhenry Atrium (School of the Arts)

Friday, November 24th – 11am to 5pm
The Spice Factory
121 Hughson St N, Hamilton, ON L8R 1G7

Sign up now!

Registration is free, but space is limited. Sign up here to reserve your spot.

save the date card

Participating Conference Speakers include:

Erin Crickett
Janice Hladki
Farah Khan
Julie Lalonde
Yami Mosa
Meaghan Ross

Performances by:

Mother Tareka
Hamilton Youth Poets (HYP)
Suma Nair
and more

Participating Artists include:

Lesely Loski Chan
Insoon Ha
Hitoko Okada
RoyaAkarbi
Francisco Fernando Granados
Nathaniel Donnette
Rodrigo Valenzuela
Shelly Niro
Marry Walling Blackburn

Art[4]Change: Unmasking Rape Culture is in partnership with McMaster University, SACHA – Sexual Assault Centre of (Hamilton and Area), Centre[3] for Print and Media Arts and funded by the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts and the Ministry of the Status of Women.

MASSIVE TBTN Thank You’s!

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Oh jeepers! Hamilton, you SHOWED UP to end demand a world without sexual violence. Thank you.

We have some INCREDIBLE people, organizations, businesses, and service groups to thank. These orgs are part of the reason that Take Back the Night magic happens in Hamilton every year. If you’re out and about in #HamOnt, please thank them for their SACHA support.

First, our TBTN committee starts working while there is still snow on the ground and puts in hundreds of hours of really not glorious (yet still exciting and very fulfilling) and rarely seen work. Our monthly meetings are full of food and laughter. When we don’t meet in the winter, the team truly misses each other.

Thank you TBTN committee: Abarna, Alina, Aileen, Brooke, Crickett, Jessica, Jessie
Jordan, Lorraine, Maggie, Mary, and Roopali.

Thank you to the over fifty TBTN event volunteers who make the event run seamlessly and smoothly. They drive the sound truck, prepare snack, set up tables, wash dishes, help to create safety during the gathering and the march, as well as lots more.

In no particular order, here are our TBTN supporters who donate money, useful stuff, and food:

Donors of very useful stuff:

Food donors:

Financial donors:

All the TBTN Info!

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Take Back the Night is SO CLOSE!!!

We know you’re excited! We know you have questions! Here’s all the info that you could ever want to prepare!

Quick info:

What?

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

What to Bring?

  • sign with your message about ending violence — There will be a sign making table at the gathering with crafts supplies if you’d like to make a sign at the event.
  • Comfy shoes — The march is an hour long!
  • A water bottle or mug — There’s hot coffee at the snack table during the gathering and a fountain in City Hall.
  • Noise makers — Let’s get loud!
  • A raincoat (perhaps…) — TBTN happens rain or shine!

When?

Thursday, September 28th

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

Where?

Hamilton City Hall – 71 Main Street, Hamilton ON

Who?

TBTN centers the experiences of women and gender non-conforming folks. We invite men to cheer the march on from Gore Park.

TBTN Male Allies 2017

The March

The march will be leaving City Hall at 7:30pm and following this route:

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I Can’t Walk the Entire March

If you are not able to march the entire route there is a short cut back to City Hall at Summers Lane near the Hamilton Convention Centre.  There will be a TBTN marshal waiting there to walk with folks back to City Hall.

Also, this year we will have an HSR city bus and a DARTS bus following the march for folks who are not able to walk the entire way.

Barry Gray Spec 1

Photo by Bary Gray from the Hamilton Spectator

Guidelines

Please:

  • Walk behind the soundtruck.
  • Be patient – folks with strollers or folks using wheelchairs or walkers may need to move more slowly.
  • Follow the marshals instructions. Marshals are wearing reflective vests.
  • Talk to a marshal if you need assistance.
  • Use the shortcut back to City Hall at Summers Lane or the bus that is following the march if you are not able to walk the entire route.
  • Visit the SACHA table or call SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line – 905.525.4162 – if you need supportive listening. Take Back the Night can bring up a lot of emotions – joy, anger, sadness, excitement, fear, love.

We will march on the street in one lane of traffic.

March Guidelines 2017

Supportive Listening

Take Back the Night can bring up many emotions – joy, sadness, excitement, fear, love. If you need to talk with someone please visit the SACHA table where there are folks ready to listen or call SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line – 905.525.4162.

 

 

Taking it Slow at TBTN

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Oh jeepers! It’s the week of Take Bake the Night!!!

We have a special request this year that folks take an extra slow pace. We’ve got all the time in the world to remind Hamilton that we’ve had enough of sexual violence.

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All photos by Bary Gray from the Hamilton Spectator

We ask folks to walk slowly to include folks with mobility issues, folks who use canes, walkers or wheelchairs, folks with little humans and strollers.

It can feel really crappy to be left at the back of the event.

Why not just slow down the sound truck at the front of the march?

We do! Problem is quick walking folks often surround the sound truck which is quite dangers. Please stay behind the sound truck and give it lots of space. We’re gonna take our time.

March Guidelines

March Guidelines 2017

Please:

  • Walk behind the soundtruck.
  • Be patient – folks with strollers or folks using wheelchairs or walkers may need to move more slowly.
  • Follow the marshals instructions. Marshals are wearing reflective vests.
  • Talk to a marshal if you need assistance.
  • Use the shortcut back to City Hall at Summers Lane if you are not able to walk the entire route.
  • Visit the SACHA table or call SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line – 905.525.4162 – if you need supportive listening. Take Back the Night can bring up a lot of emotions – joy, anger, sadness, excitement, fear, love.

Continue reading

TBTN Happens on Stolen Land

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We’re excited to have Take Back the Night at Hamilton’s City Hall and also recognize that this land was not given up willingly by its original peoples.

This land acknowledgement was created by Laurier Public Research Interest Group:

WHAT IS A LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT?

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

WHY DO WE RECOGNIZE THE LAND?

To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honouring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also work noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.

WHOSE LAND ARE WE ON?

In Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Brantford we are on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples.

  • Anishnawbe peoples: Also known as Ojibway/Chippewa/Mississauga/Algonquin, original ancestral home was located on the north shore of Lake Huron, at the mouth of the Mississaugi River. During the 17th century, the Anishnawbe split, with groups migrating east to the Bay of Quinte and South into what is now known as south-western Ontario (from Toronto to Lake Erie). During the 18th century, the Anishnawbe began losing land due to European settlement and the northern movement of the Haudenosaunee into south-western Ontario. Today, Anishnawbe in south-western Ontario include the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Aamjiwnaang, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, and the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point.
  • Haudenosaunee peoples: Also known as Six Nations and Iroquois, are various nations that formed what is known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. It originally consisted of five Nations: Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, and Seneca, but in 1722, the Tuscarora joined to form the Six Nations. The Haudenosaunee reside in parts of Ontario and Upstate New York. The largest reserve in North America is the Six Nations of the Grand River, located near Branford, Ontario. Other communities where Haudenosaunee reside include Tyendinaga, Awkwesasne, and Oneida Nation of the Thames, to name a few.
  • Neutral peoples: Called the Neutrals due to their tendency to avoid conflict, and “Attawandaron” by the Hurons. They are made up of many distinct nations. They were decimated by colonial diseases during early colonization and any remaining members were mostly adopted into the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford are both located on the Haldimand Tract, which, on October 25, 1784, after the American Revolutionary War of Independence, was given to the Six Nations of the Grand River by the British as compensation for their role in the war and for the loss of their traditional lands in Upstate New York (www.sixnations.ca). Of the 950,000 acres given to the Haudenosaunee (six miles on either side of the Grand River, all the way along it’s length), only 46,000 acres (less than 5 per cent) remains Six Nations land (www.sixnations.ca).

It is important to note that Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses are both located on the Haldimand Tract.

HOW DO WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE LAND?

“We acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples” 

  • Haudenosaunee (Ho-deh-no-show-nee)
  • Anishnawbe (Ah-nish-nah-bay)
  • Neutral / Attawandaron (At-ta-won-da-ron)

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

  • The person giving the acknowledgement should be the host of the event or meeting themselves
  • Include a formal thank you to the host nation whenever making a presentation or holding a meeting, whether or not Indigenous individuals are part of the meeting or gathering
  • If you do not know the name of the Nation on whose territory or treaty land the building sits, ask around; Friendship Centers, Aboriginal Student Centers, local Band Offices are always a good source of information
  • Ask the Friendship Center or Aboriginal Student Center for help with the pronunciation.
  • If that is not possible, call the band office of the Nation after hours and listen to the recording
  • Practice saying the name is the host nation out loud
  • A land acknowledgment is not something you “just do” before an event. Rather it is a reflection process in which you build mindfulness and intention walking into whatever gathering you are having. It should be rooted in the whose land you are honoured to stand on and should guide how you move forward in both conversations and actions.

MOVING BEYOND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Although it is important to acknowledge the land, it is only a first step. We are all treaty signers, and are thus responsible and accountable for the violence that Indigenous people face. Allyship is a continuous process; it is not a designation that one can earn and hold forevermore. It is also not a label one can give themselves, but one you earn from your actions and commitment to standing in solidarity.

Allies must continually engage in self-reflection, and must consistently work at being an ally (through learning, acting in a de-colonial manner, and sustaining relationships with Indigenous Peoples, etc.)

Here are some simple ways you can begin the ongoing and continual process of acting in solidarity with Indigenous folks in Canada:

  • Learn: About oppression and privilege. About the history of colonization. About Indigenous peoples and cultures. About the land you live on. To listen. There are many books, blogs, documentaries, Independent media sites, plays, and songs that Indigenous people have written and performed that are great places to start learning.
  • Build relationships: Building relationships is a very important aspect of standing in solidarity. A great place to start on campus is going to the Aboriginal Student Center, located at 187 Albert Street. in Waterloo and 111 Darling St. in Brantford. Both campuses host a soup lunch once a week that is open to everyone. In addition, many other events take place throughout the year. Follow them on Facebook or visit in person to see what they have going on!
  • Act: By being accountable towards Indigenous people and communities by supporting what they are saying is important, aligning oneself with the struggle, and speaking up when something problematic is said.

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 ‘Until all of us have made it none of us have made it.’ – Rosemary Brown

Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA, is a powerful opportunity for survivors and their supporters to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against violence.
TBTN centers the experiences of women and gender non-conforming folks. We invite men to cheer on the march from Gore Park.
When: Thursday, September 28th, 2017
  • 6:00pm – We Gather
  • 7:00pm – We Rally
  • 7:30pm – We March
Where: Hamilton City Hall – 71 Main Street, Hamilton ON
More info:

We will have both an HSR and a DARTS buses following the march for folks who are not able to march.

If you are not able to march the entire route there is a short cut back to City Hall at Summers Lane near the Hamilton Convention Centre. There will be a TBTN marshal waiting there to walk with folks back to City Hall.

Have worries about the event? Read more about You Can March With Us and Reasons Not To Come to TBTN.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #TBTN2017.

For more information or to request ASL interpretation, contact SACHA:

905.525.4573
sacha@sacha.ca
http://www.sacha.ca

We are extremely grateful to all the folks that make Take Back the Night happen in Hamilton, especially Public Service Alliance of Canada WAWGClick here to help make TBTN thrive and to help SACHA support survivors and end sexual violence.

Sacred Fire at TBTN

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We are excited to welcome back both the sacred fire and The Red Skirt Project as invited guests this year at Take Back the Night.

You might’ve seen the sacred fire at TBTN last year on the west forecourt near the SACHA table and the You Can March with Us table.

TBTN participants are invited to chat with members of the Red Skirt Project, offer tobacco (traditional medicine) and prayer into the sacred fire. The Red Skirt Project is an initiative created by The Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin ( I Am A Kind Man Program ) at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre and YEN:TENE (You and I will go there together) at the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic.

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All photos by Arora Maracle

The Red Skirt Project is a new Indigenous Men’s Initiative where Indigenous men and their Non-Indigenous male friends honor our Sisters, honor our Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and those identifying as Trans.

We are men taking a visible stand against the layered levels of violence our Sisters are dealing with every day.

We wear the red skirts to show our solidarity with our Sisters and to acknowledge their voices that they should no longer be silenced.

We wear the red skirts to show our Sisters that we acknowledge their powerful gifts of life, knowledge, wisdom and survival.

We stand united with our Sisters and accept our traditional responsibilities to support and help our Sisters fight against the violence they are living with.

By wearing the red skirts, we are showing our Sisters that we are equals for this is our teachings and our way of life.

We wear the red skirts in a good way so that we can join our Sisters fight in achieving the long overdue recognition that balance, harmony, peace, equality and safety be restored in their lives for this is our teachings and our way of life.

The red skirts are designed in a similar fashion to those that many traditional Women, Girls, those who identify as Trans and two spirited people would wear while engaged in Indigenous ceremony. Continue reading