Draw the Line Workshops in HamOnt


As part of Hamilton Public Library‘s Hamilton Reads Series (#HPLreads), HPL and SACHA are hosting four Draw the Line workshops.

Tuesday, October 3rd – Safe Partying

  • 3pm at Central Library: 55 York Blvd
  • 7pm at Waterdown Branch: 163 Dundas Street East

    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

  • 2:30pm at Ancaster Branch: 30 Wilson Street East
  • 7pm at Barton Street Branch: 571 Bartons Street East

    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.

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Julie Lalonde at Mohawk College


Julie Lalonde project coordinator of Draw the Line, a provincial campaign to engage folks in ending sexual violence, is coming to Hamilton!

When: Tuesday, October 11 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Where: Mohawk College – McIntyre Theatre, Fennel Campus
Cost: Free

Join Julie Lalonde for an interactive presentation looking at tangible ways that we can prevent sexual violence at bars and parties. Participants will leave with concrete tools and resources to help them be effective bystanders.

Julie S. Lalonde is an Ottawa-based feminist activist and women’s right advocate. Julie has won numerous awards for her work, including being named a recipient of the “Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case” (2013), a “Driver of Change” by MTV, and 2013’s “Best Volunteer in a Leading Role” by Volunteer Ottawa.

Time for Change is Here


We are hearing a lot lately about sexual violence in the military. Marie Deschamps released a report about the issue.  Julie Lalonde has been in the media after her experience of sexual harassment during a presentation at Royal Military College and then the harassment and death threats she received after going public about the abuse.

The Ottawa Coalition Against Violence Against Women, Sexual Assault Network Ottawa, and Draw The Line wrote an open letter to the Canadian Armed Forces:

Dear Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF),

We understand that within the last month, you’ve been facing a lot of criticism about a sexual violence in the military. We also understand that your initial reaction to this criticism might be to say, “#NotAllSoldiers.”

Let us be clear: The criticism you are facing is not directed at any one member of the Forces, but rather a culture that permits, excuses, and minimizes the experience of sexual assault and harassment in the military.

You’ve been given an opportunity by Madame Deschamps’s report to challenge and change this culture. Indeed, it is the CAF’s opportunity to go above and beyond the ‘call of duty’ that she laid out in her report. The proven benefits of prevention are founded in its ability to address the normalization and minimization of sexual violence. Through the consistent challenging of sexist attitudes and violent behaviour, a culture which permits sexual violence will be eliminated. Without direct, decisive, and consistent action a culture of violence will continue to thrive. The CAF also needs to take steps to truly believe survivors and provide adequate support when violence does occur. Transformation can only occur by:

1. Calling sexual violence what it is. This is a not “pressing desires,” it is not “biological wiring.” Even the language of “sexual misconduct” minimizes the severity of what we are talking about. Sexual violence is an inexcusable exercise of power which is meant to dehumanize and violate another person’s human rights. Continue reading

Jian Ghomeshi Media Round Up #2


Al Jazeera English – Beyond Victim Blaming featuring Julie Lalonde from HollaBack! Ottawa and Draw the Line talking about rape culture and victim blaming

CBCnews.ca – VIDEO: 5 Myths About Sexual Violence feature Lenore Lukasik-Foss, SACHA’s Director and Chair of Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres Continue reading

Draw The Line Launches in Hamilton


Today is Draw the Line Day in Ontario.


In Hamilton the Woman Abuse Working Group (WAWG) created our own video with community members’ thoughts about why Sexual Violence Awareness Month is important:

This morning WAWG also launched some of the new Draw the Line videos, including a video by Mujer about how we teach young men to speak out against sexual assault:

Stephen Chica shares his thoughts after going to a Mujer ‘Hasta Aqui No Mas / Draw the Line’ workshop:

I think it is important for youth, kids and adults to discuss and share ideas and experiences of sexual violence to better and resolve this issue in the community one step at a time.

Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes created a video about youth and online sexual assault:

You can check out all of Action ontarienne’s Draw the Line videos at Traçons les limites’ YouTube channel.

One in four women report being sexually harassed in the workplace. The Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centre’s video asks what you think and where you draw the line when it comes to workplace harassment:


Draw The Line Update


Sonya Strohm is a Project Facilitator for Draw-the-Line campaign at the Newcomer Centre of Peel. She is also a doctoral student in Family Relations and Human Development at University of Guelph.

As Sexual Assault Prevention Month comes to a close, it’s important that we remember to continue to engage in a dialogue about sexual violence.  What can help us to do that? Draw-The-Line.ca

Draw the Line is a province-wide campaign created by Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes (AOCVF) and the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC).  Launched as part of Sexual Assault Prevention Month in May 2012, at the Draw The Line website people can place themselves in six different scenarios of sexual violence and choose how to respond.

DTL Image

Take, for example, the scenario where a friend sends you a naked picture of a girl he knows.  Posing questions such as, Is it a big deal to share it with others?, the campaign aims to help people understand why it is important to draw the line on sexual violence, when to do so, and how to intervene safely and effectively.

Efforts are currently underway at a number of organizations across Ontario to expand the initial Draw the Line campaign.  This includes outreach, translation of campaign posters and postcards into multiple languages, and the creation of new resources to address the range of sexual violence issues that exist in different communities (e.g., Aboriginal, elderly, ethno-cultural, immigrant & refugee, LGBT, women with disabilities).

At Newcomer Centre of Peel in Mississauga, outreach has targeted newcomer youth who take part in their Community Connections Youth programming.  On May 10th, an event was organized around the above scenario, and allowed youth to contemplate whether or not it is a big deal to share a naked photo with others.  This question sparked a two hour discussion that was facilitated by youth mentors, and that addressed issues such as consent, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, online sexual harassment, and the possession and distribution of child pornography.  Youth were also able to share and learn about ways that they could “draw the line” – for example, by deleting the photo and refusing to send it to others, calling a friend out, or reporting it to a trusted adult or authority figure.

Draw-the-Line campaign materials, including posters, post cards and a guidebook are available on the website free of charge.

— Sonya

Where Do You Draw The Line?


Across Ontario today folks are taking action to educate and inspire action to end sexual violence.

Check out the Ontario-wide campaign Draw The Line.

In Hamilton we took to the streets with chalk in hand:

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To learn more about SACHA’s work supporting survivors and working to end sexual violence visit www.sacha.ca.

Survivors and their supporters can call SACHA’s Support Line 24 hours a day — 905.525.4162.

May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.