Chocolate Fest Updates


Only one week until SACHA’s 10th Anniversary Chocolate Fest and Silent Auction!!!

CF_postcard_2014_frontThings are starting to get busy at the SACHA office with volunteers popping in to help with tasks, the phone ringing with folks buying tickets and people dropping off silent auction items!

A couple of updates about the absolutely amazing event:


We chose to print two hundred less tickets this year to make Chocolate Fest more intimate.  This means that there is the real chance that we may sell out of tickets!

To be sure to take part in this fabulous night of chocolate indulgence and to support SACHA’s work, make sure to buy your tickets in advance, either by calling SACHA – 905.525.4573 – or online.



For our 10th anniversary we’re moving the event back to Liuna Station at 360 James St North in Hamilton.  There is free parking!  If you need directions, check out this map.liuna map


As we celebrate ten years of the Chocolate Fest, we have some special things lined up that you don’t want to miss including champagne hand massages by Kabuki Spa on Locke Street and roaming entertainment by the amazing Master Magician himself Christeryious.



gazing ballWe are really lucky to have some generous artists and businesses that support SACHA, so this year’s Silent Auction has lots of exciting stuff.

Here’s just an idea of what’s available to bid on:

Come early, stay long and bid on these spectacular items.



SACHA Director, Lenore will be on CHCH Morning Live tomorrow morning with treats from Sweet Paradise and Weils of Westdale.








SACHA Archives


Recently with painting SACHA, staff women have been cleaning their offices and finding awesome pieces of SACHA herstory.

alert0002 alert0003We’re guessing that these flyers are from around 1989 and what amazes me about them is how similar our objectives still are.  Some of the language we use might be a touch different, but SACHA still provides support to survivors of sexual assault and works to end violence.

Do you have any pieces of SACHA herstory in your basement or closets?

— erin

2014 Chocolate Fest Treats


SACHA’s 10th Annual Chocolate Fest fundraiser is coming up really really really soon!


We are very excited about the over twenty local businesses that will be bringing absolutely amazing treats to this year’s event.

Take a peek!

Deluxe Bakeries

Beanermunky Chocolates
Beyond the Batter Cupcakes
Boo’s Bistro
Cake and Loaf Bakery
Chocolate Tales
Cupcakes of Westdale Village
Denningers Foods of the World
Forrat’s on Locke
Hotti Biscotti
Il Fiasco
LIUNA Station
Mulberry Street Coffeehouse
Sweet Celebrations Patisserie
Sweet Paradise
Turtledoves Bakery
Weil’s of Westdale



Blair Elements


Basic Bakeries

La Bakeri
Barbara Caffé
Valentino’s Restaurant
Traynor’s Bakery Wholesale Ltd.

Tickets are available by calling SACHA during centre hours – 905.525.4573 – or online.

All the money raised goes towards SACHA’s work supporting survivors of sexual assault and working to end violence.

SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 25


It’s cold outside but we’ve got some hot feminist links to keep you warm!

Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard made it to the semi finals in the Australian Open.  On the court directly after her win did the reporter choose to ask her about her training or her headspace?  Nope.  She was asked who in the whole world she would like to go on a date with.


That’s what British sports reporter Samantha Smith, herself a former tennis player who really ought to know better, asked Bouchard seconds after the match ended. A lot of people are pissed off about what Smith asked, and rightly so – it completely disregarded Bouchard’s abilities and achievements as a tennis player


Kiera Obbard wrote a great piece for the University of Ottawa’s paper, Fulcrum, about what sexual assaults get covered in the media and the tips that women are given to keep safe.

In addition to creating more inclusive spaces, Msosa would like to see a focus on community accountability and ways that people can help stop sexual assault, including practical strategies for intervening.

“In an ideal world, I want the community accountability to be there for survivors,” she said. “I would love to see the conversation shift from being, ‘This incident happened, women beware,’ to, ‘This incident happened, let’s all come together to figure out how we can keep our community safe.’”


Longtime activist Beth E. Ritchie writes about her ‘journey as a Black feminist activist working to end gender violence for the past 20 years, during which the United States was engaged in building itself up as the world’s leading prison nation’ and how that lead her to question how we respond to violence in our culture.

It means investing in a new kind of community, especially within communities of color, where those who are most disadvantaged are in leadership of sustained, base-building activities for justice. Concerns about gender justice and sexuality liberation would necessarily be included. Strategies to address the harm caused by violence would be grounded in these stronger, more equitable communities. Safety would come from communities, and, therefore, prisons could eventually become obsolete. Here, in a feminist prison abolition project is where I find the best possibility of the kind of liberation that I have been working towards for so long.


Media critic, anti-racist feminist, founder and executive director of Women In Media and News, Jenn Pozner (@jennpozner) has a simple tip for white progressives &male allies to ensure diversity in speaking events:
jenn pozner———————————————

Do you need a reason to come to SACHA’s Chocolate Fest on February 6th?  Here’s FIVE!


SACHA Broadcast — Feminist Links & Hijinks No. 24


Sasheer Zamata has been hired by Saturday Night Live. She wrote the above video, a biting commentary called “Be Blacker” regarding Black representation in the media.

Feministing shares more of Zamata’s brilliant work here.


Just because a film includes a scrap of conversation between two women about something other than a man does not necessarily mean that the film has any meaningful interest in women. … If there’s a single thing I’d like to see more films do, it would be to take female desire (sexual, sure, but also *every other kind*) seriously.

— film critic Karina Longworth, as reported by Katy Waldman in “The Bechdel Test Sets the Bar Too Low. Let’s Write a New One” at Read on for more about how movies can better represent the lives of real women.


OKCupid: fun times. Here’s what conjured up on the notion of The Worst Online Dating Profile.

…but the optimist in me wanted to believe that there was a limit. Maybe there was a woman so awful, so toxic, so irredeemably unlikeable that no one would message her, or if they did, at least they would realize they never, ever wanted to meet her.


A very captivating Sarah Mowrey on Women’s Bodies in the Workplace. I bet I’m not the only one of us who can relate to that!


BitchMag’s Food Issue recently won some love from fancy coffee blog Sprudge for Best Coffee Writing of 2013 in their annual Sprudge Awards:

The issue of gender in specialty coffee has long been a subject of debate, and in recent years people have become increasingly vocal about the need for change. But the conversation has still largely been on the back burner, and still unfortunately focused on male voices. Dr. Knisely takes an unflinching look at the industry’s sacred cows–from the masculinized valuation of the technical, to barista competitions, to customer interaction norms, to some of the industry’s stalwarts. What results is a picture with a lot of room for improvement.

— praise for Dr. Lisa Knisely’s piece,
Steamed Up: The slow-roasted sexism of specialty coffee
as featured in Bitch magazine, and now also online.

Bitch magazine Food Issue + Francis Perkins mug + Coffee ^_^

Bitch magazine Food Issue + Francis Perkins mug + Coffee ^_^

—  compiled by Amelia Stop-Telling-Us-We’re-Not-Good-Enough Widdershins

In Just One Week


December was a very very busy time for feminism and women’s rights in Canada.

Within one week there were two massive decisions that could potentially affect lots of vulnerable and marginalized women in Canada.

On Thursday, December 19th the jurors in Ashley Smith’s coroner’s inquest found that her October 19, 2007 death in Grand Valley Institution for Women was a homicide.

From the National Post’s December 19th article:

Smith, 19, died six years ago after guards hesitated in rushing to remove a ligature the troubled young inmate had tied around her neck because of orders from senior management not to intervene as long as she was still breathing.

The jury made 104 recommendations Thursday, most of them dealing with ways the correctional system can provide better supports to female inmates. Among them:

  • Thorough treatment plans must be created for women inmates who are assessed as having severe mental illness or histories of chronic self-injury.
  • Such inmates must have the support of teams of professionals, including psychiatrists and psychologists, and have access to permanent peer-support programs.
  • The federal government should create federally run treatment facilities dedicated to serving “high-risk, high needs” women inmates.
  • Smith’s death should be taught as a case study for all federal corrections managers and staff.

Unfortunately, the jury’s recommendations are not binding and Correction Services Canada can ignore or implement them as they choose.

mandy hiscocks wrote a blog post about the Ashley Smith inquiry during her imprisonment at Vanier Centre for Women:

recently some people on my unit were discussing a newspaper article about the inquiry. this led to a conversation about the lack of proper care for people with physical and mental health needs here at Vanier, and the ways in which they’re often neglected and mistreated…

if you’re not familiar with the incarcerated female population, there’s one very important thing to know: the vast majority of inmates suffer from depression, trauma, and/or addiction, and many deal with illnesses such as schizophrenia and severe anxiety disorders. when you read about the conditions in jails and the way prisoners are treated it’s especially important to keep that in mind.

Ashley Smith needed help, and instead was treated brutally by people she couldn’t get away from — this is the situation for so many others as well.


On Friday, December 21st, the Supreme Court of Canada made a unanimous decision on the Bedford Case, deciding to repeal all laws around sex work in Canada.

“Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisances, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes,” wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin in the 9-0 decision that noted “it is not a crime in Canada to sell sex for money.”

Although engaging in sex work was not a crime in Canada, there were laws surrounding sex work – communicating, operating a bawdy house and living off the avails of prostitution – made sex workers marginalized and unsafe.

Check out our earlier post with lots of awesome links and documentaries.

The Canadian government now has a year to reexamine the laws around sex work in Canada.

Activists are already busy imagining and planning for what communities with laws that actually make sex workers lives safer could look like. On January 24th, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law is hosting a public forum “After Bedford v. Canada: What next for regulating sex work in Canada?”.  More info on their website.