How Do We Remember?


December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.  We take the day not only to remember the fourteen victims of the Montreal Massacre but to remember all women who have been killed by men.

It’s a time for reflection and for action.

Did you know that Hamilton has a memorial to the victims of 1989 Montreal Massacre?

If you visit the west side of City Hall in Hamilton, near the corner of Main Street and Bay Street, you’ll find a rock with a plaque remembering the women who were killed on December 6th and also remembering all women who have been victims of violence. Continue reading


What Happens When You Call the Line?


SACHA 24 Hour Support Line offers confidential and anonymous 24-hour non-judgmental telephone support. The Support Line is for adults, 16 years of age or older, who have experienced sexual violence at any point in their lives and to folks supporting survivors.

But what actually happens when you call the line?

SACHA CS business card back

How to call…

  • If you can, find a private place to make a call.
  • Dial 905.525.4162.
  • An operator will answer and say, “Answering for SACHA, Sexual Assault Centre”. This isn’t a SACHA worker. They are there to connect you to a SACHA support worker, and will ask you for a name and a phone number.
  • When the worker asks for a name you can give them your given name, one that you have made up, or even say “I’d rather not”.
  • When the worker asks you for a phone number you can either give your real phone number so you can get a call back from a volunteer or say “I’d rather not”. If you have a block on your phone, please tell the operator about it.
  • A trained SACHA volunteer will call you back within 10 minutes or as soon as she finishes any previous calls. She will introduce herself with her first name and let you know she is from SACHA. She will offer to explain our confidentiality policy.
  • You can talk to her.
  • Busy signal – Getting a busy signal when you call the line is rare, but can happen when call volume is high. If you get a busy signal please call back! You deserve to talk to someone.

Continue reading

The Criminalization and Prosecution of HIV-status Non-Disclosure: Towards a Feminist Perspective


Devon Ridge is a Woman and HIV/AIDS Initiative (WHAI) worker at The AIDS Network, working with service providers to build capacity in addressing women’s HIV-related needs. November 25th to 28th is HIV & AIDS Awareness Week—an opportunity to deepen our understanding of how HIV impacts the lives of women. This blog post is a great place to start!

A man will say, ‘Oh, you’re leaving me? Well, I’m actually going to have you charged with non-disclosure.’ And that’s a really difficult thing to prove — that you disclosed your HIV status — so that’s quite terrifying for women. It’s actually keeping them in relationships and keeping them sometimes in situations of violence for fear that they’re going to end up getting prosecuted.

— Anne-Marie DiCenso, Prisoners’ HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN)

The discussion around the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure deserves special attention by feminists because of the unprecedentedly zealous application of sexual assault law in these cases. Criminalization affects an HIV-positive woman in many ways, including limiting how she can engage in relationships and her options for dealing with abusive dynamics in which HIV-status is used for control over her. Continue reading

HFZF Interviews with Zinesters – Hamilton Zine Club


Tell us a little about yourself and your zine/project/distro.

Hamilton Zine Club (HZC) began with a bunch of zine­ enthusiasts and a challenge: make a zine every month for the entire year of 2013!  As a group, we gathered together at the end of each month to show­-and­-tell­-and­-swap (!) our zine creations.  Essentially, over the course of the year, we created a totally unique zine culture of our very own.  Pretty cool, right? Continue reading

HFZF Interviews with Zinesters – Amy Egerdeen


Tell us a little about yourself and your zine/project/distro. I’m a feminist social justice worker, I make hand bound books and zines (you can see them here!) and I am also co-organizing the Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair!

How did you start making zines? Who/what influenced you?

I started making zines when I was about 19, after I was introduced to feminist activism and zine-making by the amazing Ellie Anglin. We made a feminist collaborative zine with some friends that lasted for a couple years, and during that time I also started making Heirloom, which was a long-running literary zine. I was really excited by the idea of making our own media – I was living in Waterloo, and at that time it felt very possible to make a zine yourself, get it out into the public, and start a larger dialogue – folks were really interested and invested in what was happening. It felt powerful and exciting, and that feeling is what keeps me making zines, facilitating zine-making workshops, and helping to organize events like the HFZF. Continue reading

Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair – Things To Consider


HFZF Logistical Sign 2014So excited that Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair is less than a week away!

Here are some things to consider before coming to the fair:

  • Please skip putting on scents on Saturday. We’re trying to create a scent free space.  Some zinesters as well as SACHA volunteers and staff are allergic to scents and it would mean that they would not be able to parcicipate in the fair.
  • Please ask for consent before you take pictures.
  • There’s a quiet space on the third floor if you need to take a break.
  • Washrooms!
    There are physically accessible so-called “women’s” and “men’s” washrooms in the Senior’s Centre.
    Physically accessible washrooms that are not labelled “women’s” or “men’s” are on the first floor (near the café) and in the basement (turn right after getting off the elevators).
  • Supportive Listening
    Zine fairs can be stressful. If you need someone to talk to who will listen, there is a SACHA volunteer ready on the third floor. Folks of all genders can call SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line as well – 905.525.4162.

Here’s the entire Safe(r) Spaces doc on SACHA’s site.