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.

 

Compounding the Tragedy: Reflections on Media Coverage

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This past week in Hamilton Jenna Gazzola and Aerlaena Smith were murdered. Jenna by a male neighbour and Aerlaena by her boyfriend.

You might have heard about it on the news or in the paper. Maybe not. Despite it being glaring absent in reporting: this IS about gender based violence.

The media stories seem shrouded in confusion and shock about the violence. It seems almost too much for them to name that Aerlaena was murdered by her boyfriend, for example.

Maybe you felt frustrated too, or confused or angry, anxious, sad– and not just about the tragedy of the murders themselves but also about how off-base the reporting on these situations has been.

That makes sense. The media consistently does a pretty terrible job of talking about  patriarchy, power, and gender-specific violence. Continue reading

It’s Time Project Recommendations

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it's timeIn April 2012, SACHA in partnership with the YWCA Hamilton, initiated a project at McMaster University focused on engaging students in the prevention of violence against young women on campus.

Funded by Status of Women Canada, this work has been guided by an on-campus Advisory Committee consisting of students, staff, and faculty representation from diverse areas of campus life.

The project gathered information from differenct sections of campus and developed an analysis and many strategies for institutional and cultural changes that could prevent violence against young women.

We’ve listed an overview of the recommendations below. Click here to for a more detailed look at the It’s Time project’s key recommendations.

Recommendation #1

The establishment of the Violence Against Women Working Group of the President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community.

Recommendation #2

The implementation of the Sexual, Domestic, and Family Violence Response Protocol.

Recommendation #3

The appointment of a Sexual, Domestic, and Family Violence Response Coordinator.

Recommendation #4

The development of sustained partnerships with community organizations in Hamilton that specialize in violence against women, culminating in a Women’s Services Satellite Office on campus.

Recommendation #5

The implementation of the Campus Community Alert Policy which includes concrete assessment criteria for incidents of sexual or gender based violence that constitute a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community.

Recommendation #6

The implementation of recommendations to policy made via the It’s Time project regarding the Sexual Harassment Policy and the Student and Residence Codes of Conduct.

Recommendation #7

The implementation of training on violence against women and gender based violence as a core component of mandatory training for all student leaders, faculty, and staff on campus.

Recommendation #8

The initiation of an annual, campus-wide education and awareness campaign engaging all aspects of the McMaster community on issues of violence against women and gender based violence.