#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.

SACHA is Here For You During the Holidays

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Holiday season: for some it’s a happy season, for some – not so much.

Some survivors struggle with loneliness or tough feelings during the holidays. Friends and families can have questions about how they can help a survivor.

SACHA’s 24 hour support line will be available 24/7 to support survivors of sexual violence – and their friends and family. 905-525-4162.

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

What Has Been Helpful In Your Healing?

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Healing is hard work. The effects of sexual and emotional harm are complicated and make the path of a survivor unclear, nuanced, and volatile. What works for one person might not for another, and even what works for one person at one time, might not work at another. It can be draining to be constantly on the alert for what kind of care you need at each given moment, but with patience and support it does get easier.

Here are a few thoughts passers-through in the SACHA office have about what’s helping them heal right now:

Continue reading

Messages for Survivors

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Hurt and healing are deeply personal for every person. This is at once validating, because it reinforces the realness of each survivor’s individual experiences, but it can also feel isolating. It can be tempting to try to build yourself back up on your own, as a way of reclaiming choice and power that had been denied and taken from you, but be reminded that community – good community – is here to empower you.

Here are a few messages passers-through in the SACHA office want to remind other survivors:

“No shame, no blame (not of you) J”
“We are OK”
“You did not do anything wrong.”
“Your worth is not based on others’ opinions…”
“You are NOT alone”
“It’s amazing how many of us are on the same road”
“You can do anything. You just can’t do it alone.”
“Smile
J”
“healing is possible”
“You are stronger than you believe”
“I AM
J”
“This is a good place!”
“Keep moving forward”
“Ask for help if you need it.”
“It’s NOT your fault!”
“Believe”
“Never lose hope”
“It is possible”
“It’s okay to cry!!! Don’t hold it in.”
“Breath.
J”
“Believe in healing.”
“Be kind to yourself.”
“Don’t quit!”
“Throw your mask away, you don’t need it”
“It’s not what you have – it’s who you are. Be yourself”

What is your message of support to survivors?

SACHA Supports Mandi Gray

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In July of 2016, in an unprecedented ruling, Mustafa Ururyar was found guilty of the sexual assault of Mandi Gray.

In a public statement at that time, Gray remarked upon the grueling 18-month endeavour, and her experience of the criminal justice system — which allowed for the introduction of rape mythology and victim-blaming from Uryurar’s defence lawyer, Lisa Bristow.

“I am tired of people talking to me like I won some sort of rape lottery because the legal system did what it is supposed to…If we are told to be grateful for receiving the bare minimum, and that we should simply allow for social institutions to further…violate our rights, I am incredibly concerned”.  

SACHA shares this deep concern. We are also incensed that within days of the conviction, Ururyar’s defence team appealed the conviction and asked for bail. This was granted by Superior Court Justice Michael Quigley, who, despite the extensive case law cited in Ontario Court Justice Marvin Zuker’s decision, suggested that academic texts on rape and trauma may have somehow informed an impartial ruling. Continue reading

Sexual Assault: The Roadshow in Hamilton

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A travelling gallery focused on creating space for survivors of sexual violence to create art will be arriving in Hamilton on August 5th.

SACHA – Hamilton’s Sexual Assault Centre – will be hosting Sexual Assault: The Roadshow for the month of August. The Roadshow gallery – made of a modified shipping container – will travel on a flatbed truck to 15 cities and areas in Ontario over a three-year period.

Hamilton will be the third stop for The Roadshow which has visited Scadding Court Community Centre Scadding Court Community Centre in Scarborough and Ganǫhkwásra’ in Ohsweken.

While in Hamilton The Roadshow will have open hours so community members can experience the art created in previous stops as well as host art making workshops. Continue reading