Sisters In Spirit – Hamilton

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And every time another one of us is shunned,
every time another one of us is gunned down,
the Earth cries out in pain
having to erase another name.
And every time our self-esteem’s depleted
every time another one of us is beaten,
We have to say a prayer….
And hope another man not dare.

— From the song “Standing Strong” by Tamara Podemski

sis flyer oct 1 and 4 2015Government statistics in Canada show that Aboriginal women are 5 times more likely to die as a result of violence than other women. In 2004 The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) launched the Sisters in Spirit Campaign to bring this shocking fact to the attention of Canadians. Continue reading

Province of Ontario Increases Support for Sexual Assault Centres

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On Thursday, September 17th Kathleen Wynne announced an increase of $1.75 million for the 42 sexual assault centres across Ontario. Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres responded:

The Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) is thrilled to learn of Ontario’s plan to increase annual funding for Sexual Assault Centres by $1.75 million. This
funding will expand support for survivors of sexual violence in communities across Ontario.

OCRCC’s membership includes 26 Anglophone sexual assault centres from across Ontario.

These centres offer support to survivors of sexual violence and prevention education in local communities: services include counselling to survivors of recent and historical sexual violence, accompaniment to hospital, police and court, advocacy and crisis support.

OCRCC has over 35 years of expertise working to address sexual violence in Ontario. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the increased funding at Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, a sexual assault centre based in Guelph.

“Every day, Sexual Assault Centres do to the important work of both responding to and preventing sexual violence in our Province,” said Lenore Lukasik-Foss, Chair of Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres. “Last year, Ontario’s 41 English and French-language Sexual
Assault Centres responded to over 47,000 crisis calls from women and men survivors of sexual violence. With these additional funds, we will be able to strengthen our work and enhance support to make real impacts in the lives of survivors.”

The increase is a component of an Ontario-wide Action Plan, It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, which includes initiatives towards sexual violence prevention, education, and increased supports for survivors in Ontario.

Sexual assault centres deliver free and confidential crisis, advocacy and ongoing support to survivors of sexual violence throughout all of Ontario. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, please go to http://www.sexualassaultsupport.ca or contact the sexual assault centre in your community.

TBTN Thank Yous!

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We have a lot of people to thank for making Take Back the Night 2015 a success!

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Thank you to our TBTN volunteers!

Volunteers can be found asking local businesses for donations, coordinating volunteers, taking on promoting the event, putting up posters around Hamilton, discussing poster and t-shirt design at a committee meeting, assembling buttons, cutting up handbills, inviting local organizations to table at the event.

Take Back the Night would not be able to happen without your work.

Thank you to the volunteers who help make the event run smoothly.  These folks do everything from carrying giant puppets to serving the food at the end of the night.

And lastly, thank you to our supporters who donate money, food or goods to us.  Without them we would not be able to afford the cost of putting on TBTN and we would not have any food to share at the end of the evening.  The next time you’re at their business, please thank them for helping out.

Take Back the Night Info

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TBTN Poster English FINAL 2015Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA — Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) — is a powerful opportunity for all woman-identified individuals 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, drumming, Zumba, sign making, music, some surprises and, of course, a loud and empowered march!

When: Thursday, September 17th, 2015

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

What to bring?

  • A sign with your message about ending violence — There will be a sign making table at the gathering with markers and bristol board if you’d like to make a sign at the event.
  • Comfy shoes — The march is an hour long!
  • A water bottle — There are water filling stations at the gathering and a fountain in City Hall.
  • Noise makers — Let’s get loud!
  • Weather appropriate clothes — TBTN happens rain or shine!

The March

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

TBTN Route 2013

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. (She will be holding an amazing sign and wearing a reflective vest.  You can’t miss her!)

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

March Guidelines

Please:

  • Walk behind the sound truck.
  • Be patient – women with strollers or women using wheelchairs or walkers may need to move more slowly.
  • Follow the marshals’ instructions. Marshals are wearing reflective vests.
  • Please talk to a marshal if you need assistance.
  • Use the shortcut back to City Hall at Summers Lane on King Street or use the bus that is following behind our march if you are not able to walk the entire route.

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

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.

More Info:

Reason #9 Not to Come to TBTN – I’m Worried About Being Triggered

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Take Back the Night is coming up on Thursday, September 17th. We’re taking some time before the event to look at some of the reasons that might keep folks from coming out to TBTN.

Reason #9 – I’m worried about being triggered during the event

There’s lots of energy at Take Back the Night. Being surrounded by folks who care about ending sexual violence, taking up space, dancing together in the streets, being a part of something so big and public can be really powerful.

Take Back the Night can include emotions like joy, happiness, fear, sadness, excitement. All of these are normal responses.

If you need support at the event, there’s supportive listeners at the SACHA table who are ready to help. Also, SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line – 905.525.4162 – is available before, during and after TBTN. Folks are ready to chat about stuff like how it feels to attend a march to end sexual violence. Continue reading

Reason #8 Not to Come to TBTN – Time

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Take Back the Night is coming up on Thursday, September 17th. We’re taking some time before the event to look at some of the reasons folks might not want to come to TBTN.

Reason #8 Not to Come to TBTN – I don’t have enough time

Past TBTN participants tell us how good they feel coming to the event.

When else is there a gathering this big of women and kids taking to the streets, taking up space, to demand a world without violence?

You can come to part of the event or the entire night.

Pop by for the rally at 6pm to take a peek at the community tables and to make a sign for someone to carry in the march. Get there at 7pm to dance some Zumba with us and see performances. Join the march around downtown Hamilton from 7:30pm to 8:30pm. Or stop by City Hall afterwards to chat with folks about how the march went. Continue reading