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.
The following are highlights from 2014/2015:
Heightened Community Awareness & Dialogue
2014 brought the issues of sexual violence and workplace/street harassment to the forefront within many communities. Media reports of alleged incidences of sexual violence and harassment perpetrated by celebrities, Members of Parliament, and other high profile men; as well as the numerous survivors who came forward via social and traditional media created a heightened level of community awareness and dialogue. #BeenRapedNeverReported, #RapeCultureIsWhen, #SuitablyDressed, and #YouOKSis are but a few of the important hashtags that generated much discussion both off and on-line. We remain hopeful that the dialogue, outrage, and increased awareness will translate into improvements for how survivors are supported within our communities.
24 Hour Telephone Support in Over 300 Languages
SACHA is thrilled to announce that we are now able to offer our 24 Hour Support Line service in over 300 languages! Working in partnership with MCIS Language Services, we are able to ensure that non-English/French speaking survivors have access to immediate support and information. In order to spread the word, we have created outreach materials in 10 languages. We look forward to being able to offer 24 Hour telephone support to an increasingly diverse group of survivors within our community.
Sexual Violence Action Plan
The Provincial government launched an ambitious, multi-sector Sexual Violence Action Plan (SVAP). SVAP seeks to comprehensively address the issues and will include the creation of a permanent Violence Against Women Roundtable. We are hopeful that meaningful and lasting changes will result from these efforts.
Thanks to the amazing generosity of Home Depot in Ancaster and their staff, all of SACHA received a fresh coat of colourful paint and new flooring. Words cannot convey the impact these improvements have on our staff, volunteers, and service users. Our new space looks fabulous! We enjoyed showing off the “new” SACHA at our community Open House that occurred as a part of our 40th anniversary celebrations.
Service for Male Survivors
We are pleased to share that funding for face-to-face services for male survivors has been extended until 2018. Since 2011, we have offered individual counselling to over 150 men in our community. We are hopeful that permanent funding for this essential service will be granted.
Finally, we wish to thank all of the amazing people who support SACHA’s work; our volunteers, community partners and donors. Through your support we are able to offer high-quality, specialized supports to survivors in our community, deliver new programming, and keep the issue of sexual violence on the agenda. Thank you.