Bystander Intervention Skills


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


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?”


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.”


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?”


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

Bystander Intervention by SACHA


Can’t Talk? Type


Sometimes we can’t form the words aloud. That’s ok.

Now that’s SACHA’s support is online, survivors and their allies can get text and online chat supportive listening.


Currently we’re online:

  • Mondays from 6pm-12am
  • Fridays from 9pm-2am

To connect with a trained volunteer either text 647.977.5908 or visit to start chatting online. Continue reading

Getting Ready for Welcome Week


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!


Student Placements at SACHA


Jiaqing Wilson-Yang has been working at SACHA since January as a student in SACHA’s Counselling and Advocacy program. We asked her to write about her experiences and what other placement students at SACHA might expect.  

SACHA is always welcoming applications for longer term (6 months or more) placement students. If you’re interested or have questions please contact Elizabeth.

Hi there, my name is Jiaqing Wilson-Yang, and I have just completed my BSW Student Placement at SACHA, and I loved it. It was a huge learning experience and being here has greatly increased my skills as a Social Worker.

Some things to know about SACHA  — It’s a modified collective. That means, that decisions are made by the staff as a group. No staff member has greater authority over another staff member. Which means you can not only ask questions about why a decision is being made, but you can be a part of making the decision. For those of us looking for organizations that embed anti racist/anti oppressive practices into their structure and work, SACHA is a great example.

In the collective structure, the organization is build with conversation and critical thinking in mind. There is room for change and conflicting opinion. For me, this has translated into a much more respectful and thoughtful work place. There is consideration of the limits of workers in terms of caseload and workload. When I was determining the caseload that I would carry as a student, I was repeatedly asked what I thought I could handle, and encouraged to revisit that as time passed. Which leads me to my next point: a SACHA, as a student, you carry a caseload. Continue reading

SACHA Support Line Volunteers Needed


SACHA’s looking for awesome gender non-conforming folks and women who would like to help survivors of sexual violence.

You get an amazing 16 week training and answer the line from your home.

“I love SACHA because it allows me to connect with a wonderful feminist community.” – Current SACHA volunteer

Training starts in September. It’s good idea to get in contact with Miriam at the beginning of Augustto get the process started.

As a part of SACHA’s work to end racism and other oppressions, we especially encourage folks who identify as:

  • genderqueer and/or gender non-conforming,
  • who are Indigenous,
  • immigrant,
  • refugee,
  • lesbian,
  • bisexual,
  • two spirited,
  • queer,
  • racialized,
  • and/or who live with disAbilities,
  • and/or who experience any other oppressions to apply.

Have questions?

Don’t talk yourself out of volunteering! Lots of current volunteers had concerns when they started.

This incredible PDF can answer lots of your questions.

Contact Miriam, SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line Coordinator, for more information or 905.525.4573 x222.


Tell the World About SACHA


We are in ♥♥♥ with Hana Shafi’s art and are ecstatic that she designed two new SACHA posters!!!


Sadly, most folks in Hamilton have never heard about SACHA. They don’t know about our forty plus years of work to support survivors and end violence and oppressions.

Spreading the word about SACHA is like first aid training: you don’t think that you’re going to need it, but you do it just in case.

How you can help #ShowYourSACHASupport:

  1. Print off a copy if you have access to a printer. If you have some cash to pay for printing, we really like SACHA supporter Copy Dog. If you’d like Copy Dog to print some posters, you just need to email them – – the number and which poster you’d like printed (black or purple background). They already have the files ready to print!
  2. Pick up some posters at SACHA. Let us know to expect you by emailing us at!

Click on the images below to download a high resolution printable copy of the posters:

SACHA Poster - Hana Shafi 2, June 2017SACHA Poster - Hana Shafi 1, June 2017

We don’t even have words to describe how inspired we’ve been by Hana’s affirmations. You should absolutely check out and follow her on Tumblr and Instagram and support her here.

Immediate Online SACHA Support!


NEW! Through a pilot, we’re able to offer immediate support online or over text.

Just like our 24 Hour Support Line, immediate support is available to survivors, their friends, families, co-workers, and classmates.

How does it work?

The online chat can be accessed through SACHA’s website, on the Home page. The texting number is 647-977-5908. It’s a Toronto number till December only, but no worries, it is us! For the online chat to work, please ensure that you have Flash enabled on your browser.

At this point it’s a pilot with the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, from June to December 2017; but we hope to be able to extend this service beyond December 2017.

Currently support through online chats and texting is available:

  • Mondays 6pm-midnight
  • Fridays 8pm-2am

The awesome supportive listening we offer on our 24 Hour Line = 905.525.4162 – is always there for survivors and their supporters too!