Hamilton Reads to End Sexual Violence

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This year’s Hamilton Reads (#HPLreads) book is Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People.

SACHA has partnered with the Hamilton Public Library to offer workshops and event in September and October!

You don’t have to have read Zoe’s books to be able to attend the events.

Thursday, September 7th at 4pm – Zine Making
Central Library – 2nd Floor Program Room

Create a “Messages of Support for Survivors”-themed collaborative zine using varied and art-making techniques in this two-hour workshop. No prior experience needed. Supplies provided. Drop in. All genders/ages welcome.

Sunday, September 10th at 2pm – Telling Our Stories: Immigrant Women’s Resilience
Central Library

A unique graphic novel written by immigrant women to support immigrant women working to end sexual violence. Created with help from Centre sante communautaire, Mouvement ontarien des femmes immigrantes francophones, and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.

Take Back the Night Sign Making Parties!

Got an awesome idea for a sign for this year’s Take Back the Night? Just want to play with markers and bristol board? C’mon over to Hamilton Public Library’s Pre-TBTN Sign Making Party!

HPL will supply bristol board, markers, and sign making supplies but if you have any special art supplies you would like to bring you are more than welcome.

Folks of all genders welcome to this free event.

Dates:

Central Library – September 14th and 21st from 4-5pm
Red Hill Library – Tuesday, September 26th at 6pm
Saltflleet Library – Wednesday, September 27 at 6pm

Tuesday, October 3rd  – Safe Partying
Central Library at 3pm
Waterdown Branch at 7pm

Half of sexual assaults in Canada involve alcohol. This interactive session will give participants harm-reducing tools for ending alcohol facilitated sexual assault and online sexual violence.

Wednesday, October 4th – How to be an Ally to Survivors
Ancaster Branch at 2:30pm
Barton Street Branch at 7pm

If a coworker, family member or friend told you they had been assaulted, would you know how to respond? This interactive session will get participants thinking through the best ways of supporting people we love who have experienced sexual abuse.

For the Ancaster workshop please register ahead of time by calling – 905-648-6911.

Tuesday, October 17th at 6pm – Decolonizing Sexual Violence
Central Library

Join us for a panel conversation and learn from powerful Indigenous activists talking about their work ending sexual violence.

Wednesday, October 18th at 6pm – Sexual Violence: Beyond the Rainbow
Central Library

Learn realities of sexual violence for LGBQT2S folks and tactics for disrupting intersecting opressions contributing to violence: homophobia, transphobia, sexism and so much more.

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Bystander Intervention Skills

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You can interrupt sketchy behaviour at a bar, concert, or a party to prevent
sexual violence.

These skills are new for lots of folks! Just like first aid, these strategies require learning, relearning, and practice.

SACHA has got your back! If you see something sketchy and you unsure how to take action, you can call SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line to chat about ideas and options – 905.525.4162.

The number one action you can take RIGHT NOW is:

Bystander Intervention Skills

Delegate

Don’t go it alone. Gather your peeps. Who is near that can help?A friend? Security staff? Even if it’s just to validate that the behaviour is not OK.

  • “I think she needs our help, but I don’t know what to do. Have any ideas?”
  • “Will you watch while I go chat with them?”

Direct

Approach either the person being targeted or the person doing the harassing and be direct.

  • “Are you OK?”
  • “Can I help you?”
  • “That’s not OK.”
  • “You need to stop.”

Distract

Think of a way to distract the folks involved in the situation: either the person being targeted or the person doing the harassing.

  • “Can you take a pic of my friends and I?”
  • “What time is it?”
  • “Where’s the washrooms?”
  • “That’s a FAB outfit! Where did you get it?”
  • “My friend’s gone missing. Can you help me find them?”

Document

Make a record or keep your eye on the situation in case it escalates.

Bystander Intervention by SACHA

 

Getting Ready for Welcome Week

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SACHA and the Equity Inclusion Office are full into training volunteers and staff to get ready for Welcome Week at McMaster University.

In April, we led an hour long workshop on taking action to end rape culture. Check our highlights from our presentation two years ago. Yesterday, we completed seven of the twenty workshops that we are facilitating this week. We focused on McMaster’s Sexual Violence Response Protocol. You can read the protocol here and take a peek at highlights from the presentation here.

Today we worked with the 57 Maroons, that represent McMaster’s Students Union.

We led a short 90 minute intro to preventing sexual violence at mass gatherings with Bystander Intervention techniques.

SACHA Rack Card 2016Last year was the first time they got bystander training and the shift away from worries and fears to folks sharing strategies that they know have worked was measurable.

These are strategies that we need to learn, relearn, and practice.

How are you – as a participant or as an organizer – working to end sexual violence at mass gatherings?

If you see something sketchy happening at the bar, concert, or festival, SACHA is here to chat about ideas on how to help 24 hours a day – 905.525.4162.

We have some follow up links for today’s participants:

We’ve gotta take a nap because we’ve got twelve more presentations this week!

 

Broad Convos & Participation – Pearl

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Broad Conversations are gatherings in Hamilton, Ontario for feminist broads. Gatherings are structured to inspire new ideas and reflections on important themes within a feminist context. 

Pearl Mendonca shares her thoughts on this month’s theme of participation.

pearl“How do we define, value and manage participation as feminists, women, as citizens?” 

This was the question our panel was asked at the second Broad Conversations event.  It’s a fascinating question, and each of us on the panel took the conversation in completely new and awesome directions.

Here were my thoughts:

I’m going to look at my participation from three experiences: 1) as a woman of colour; 2) as a survivor of sexual violence and 3) as a bodywork practitioner.

As a woman of colour, I’m very aware of my own experience of race and how it has impacted my own participation.  This also makes me think of representation – where are women of colour’s voices represented?

I am familiar with the societal expectations of the way that I will participate as a brown woman.  I am also aware of my family’s expectations, cultural expectations – how I have internalized all of these expectations and lived within them.

As a woman, especially as a woman of colour, I’ve hesitated many a time in speaking up and raising concerns.  It has been difficult at times to find my voice.  It often takes me time to navigate different and difficult spaces, and even then, I need to feel a sense of safety. Continue reading

#UseTheRightWords: Reporting on Sexual Violence Awards

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Recognizing that Canadian media has the power to shape conversations about sexual violence, we want to celebrate insightful and challenging media reporting on sexual violence in the past year.

To get involved,  nominate articles and authors in the Canadian media at the local, regional or national level (e.g. Globe and Mail, Buzzfeed, Chatelaine, National Post, Toronto Star, Vice, Huffington Post, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen, etc.) that you think are deserving of one or more of the following awards:

Use The Right Words: Reporting on Sexual Violence Awards

  • Super Sleuth –  Best Investigative Article
  • Survivors Know Best: Best First Person Narrative
  •  We Begin by Listening: Best Interview
  • We Revolt at Dawn  – Best Overall Article
  • Desk Flip – Worst Overall Article and Author

To nominate an article for an award, go to http://bit.ly/RightWordsAward and submit your choices. The nominations will be open from December 8th 2016 – January 21st 2017.

Awards will be conferred on February 1st, 2017, the anniversary of the Ghomeshi trial. The awards are organized by femifestoOttawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW)Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, and Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education at Ryerson University.

We Remember

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On December 6th we remember the 14 women murdered in the Montreal Massacre and we also remember women experiencing violence or who are at risk of violence.

In 2016, there were too many women killed in Hamilton. Quite often the media does not name their deaths as gender based violence.

Recognizing their deaths is an opportunity for action.

We need space to mourn their loss. We need space for our sadness and anger. We need to say their sames and to remember their lives.

  • Tammy Le – 25 years old,  January 23 2016

“We honour and remember – Tammy Le, and the other workers who have survived and lost their lives to violent ends. May they live on in our hearts and provide us with great strength and integrity as we stand up for human dignity and the right for all sex workers to live free from violence, racism, and discrimination” – Asian Migrant Sex Workers Network

“Tammy Le was murdered as a direct result of gender-based violence and not because of how she chose to earn a living.” – Woman Abuse Working Group

Her mother described her as free-willed with an uncontained spirit.  She had an angelic voice and enjoyed music in every sense, and earned the name Rainbow for her changing hair.  She had two children she loved.

Jenna was found dead in an apartment in Hamilton. She was a teacher for adult learners at St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education Centre.

Gina was retired, but was a manager at Tim Hortons. Her colleagues described her as a great manager and fun to work with. She will be missed by many relatives in South Korea, and was a loving mother, sister, cousin, and aunt.

Marilyn was a senior living in downtown Hamilton.

This list is based on the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses‘ yearly femicide list and is probably, unfortunately, not complete. If you have a name to add to the list please contact us.

 

December 6th in Hamilton

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December 6th is the International Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

We celebrate on December 6th because it is the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre – a shooting at ‘École Polytechnique de Montréal, where women engineering students were separated from the men and killed.

They died because they were women.

We remember the dead, those who have died this year because of misogynist violence. We fight to prevent all forms of violence and oppression.

There are two events happening in Hamilton this year: Continue reading