Celebrating 40 Years of OCRCC

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OCRCC-is-Turning-40-posterOCRCC – Ontario’s coalition of English-speaking sexual assault centres – is turning 40 this year!

THIS IS A BIG DEAL!

When SACHA was founded in 1975 it was by a group of survivors with no funding who wanted to change the world. When patriarchy, oppression, and colonialism are still so powerful and present in our daily lives, this anniversary is reason to CELEBRATE!

What we have planned…

  • 6:30pm Meet and Greet
  • 7:00pm Greetings
  • 7:15pm Comedian Elvira Kurt
  • 8:00pm Presentations and Awards
  • 8:15-9:00pm Social

When: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Where: Ramada Hotel and Suites – 300 Jarvis Street, Toronto ON
Please RSVP to Nicole (ocrcccoordinator@hotmail.com), JoAnne (directorwsac@vianet.ca), or Michelle (michelle@sascsl.ca).

 

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SACHA Open House – All the Details

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SACHA volunteers and staff were hard at work today getting the centre ready for our Open House!

When: Thursday, May 21st from 2-6pm
Where: SACHA – 75 MacNab Street South, 3rd Floor

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We’re celebrating forty years of working to end sexual violence this year!

IMG_20150520_160623Our space is not only newly painted and has beautiful new flooring, but we’ve also decorated! IMG_20150520_160629Complete the SACHA Scavenger Hunt and get a chance to win a FABULOUS prize!

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Buy a 40th Anniversary pin for $2 or make a 40th Anniversary button!

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Pop by SACHA’s Sewing Circle to learn more about our Diverse Communities Outreach Programs and to help our facilitators make a sewing project. We’ve got lots of snacks to share in our group room!

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Head over to SACHA’s offices to meet more SACHA volunteers and staff and to see where individual counselling happens.

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Pick up some SACHA promo materials.IMG_20150520_164805 IMG_20150520_164809

And Draw the Line postcards in French and English.

Amelia’s Story

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Amelia is a Graduate of Small Business & Entrepreneurship with experience as a community advocate in both voluntary and professional settings; she is a survivor of sexual violence with roots in both Oxford County and Hamilton. Amelia has been a service-user at SACHA, as well as a volunteer since 2011.

You can watch a video of Ameila’s story here.

Amelia’s story was recently presented to the provincial government’s Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment.

May is Sexual Violence Prevention Month.

I would like to first thank members of the Committee and all others in attendance today for your interest and participation, as well as your devotion to ending sexual violence and harassment, and gender-based violence in general.

Please know that I understand my experiences to be my own, and though these experiences are certainly reflective of the sexual violence and harassment that others have faced, my perspective is that of a person with certain “unearned privileges”: My light-coloured skin tone, the fact that I do not identify as transgender, and that I am currently physically able-bodied has certainly had defining and lasting positive impacts throughout my journey as a survivor within a society that demonstrates strong preferences for individuals who exhibit these characteristics.

I encourage the Committee, and attendees and listeners, to consider in their approaches the needs of survivors from all demographics.

During my second year of high-school, I was sexually assaulted by another student within school walls. After a couple weeks’ hesitation, and with the encouragement of a friend, I made a choice to disclose my experience to a trusted teacher. It was unclear to me at the time that from the exact moment I made my disclosure, the power to choose what I would go through would not be my own. Instead, the power of choice in the matter would reside in protocol beyond what was accessible to me. Continue reading

The Big Picture – Responding to Sexual Violence in Ontario

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Lenore from SACHA recently presented to the Ontario government’s Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment. Our presentation was about the work that sexual assault centres in Ontario are doing to support survivors and prevent violence and we shared our recommendations for change.

May is Sexual Violence Prevention Month.

Thank you for the opportunity to address the Committee today and share our input. I’d like to start by briefly sharing some information about the organization I am representing today, the Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton and Area) – which is celebrating our 40th anniversary this year.

SACHA provides support to adult women and men (16 years of age and older), who have experienced childhood and/or adult sexual violence at any point in their lives. This includes rape, incest, sexual abuse and harassment.

Last year:

The issue of sexual violence, including harassment, is extremely complex. Today, I would like to focus on 3 key points:

  1. Ensuring that survivors have quick access to high quality, specialized trauma supports.
  2. Recognizing the importance of advocacy and system navigation in supporting survivors and ending victim-blaming.
  3. Shifting the focus away from reporting issues and a criminal response to ensuring that victims are appropriately supported and sexual violence is ultimately prevented.

Continue reading

SACHA on Parliament Hill Today

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IMAG0283Lenore Lukasik-Foss, SACHA’s Director and President of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres will be speaking to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities about Bill c-591.

This is a bill to amend the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security Act would not allow a victim’s benefits be paid to the person who has been convicted of their murder.

Here’s more information on the amendment – http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-591/

Good afternoon Honourable Members, staff and guests. Thank you for the opportunity to address the committee on Bill c-591. Today I am speaking on behalf of the Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton and Area) and the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres – also known as the OCRCC. OCRCC is network of 26 sexual assault centres from across Ontario. We offer counselling, information and support services to survivors of recent and historical sexual assault. Continue reading

Get To Know Your Ontario Sexual Assault Centres

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This winter the Ministry of Attorney General in sent questionnaires to all of the Ontario Sexual Assault Centres.

For those of us who are working or volunteering at Sexual Assault Centres, we can forget that not everyone knows about the work that we are doing to support survivors and end violence.

Not only was there really interesting information shared, but to see it grouped together was quite powerful.

Did you know?

  • 1972 the first Sexual Assault Centre (SAC) in Ontario opened.  Our newest Ontario SAC was created in 2012.
  • Thirty-one English speaking and ten French speaking Sexual Assault Centres completed the questionnaire.
  • Combined Ontario SAC’s answered 37 000 crisis/support line calls in a year.
  • Half of the calls were during the daytime, thirty-three percent in the evening and seventeen percent were after midnight and before nine in the morning.
  • Across Ontario 9060 people got face-to-face service from Sexual Assault Centres.
  • Across Ontario 165 counsellors are working at Sexual Assault Centres.
  • The average number of years experience per counsellor is ten years and the median number of years experience is eight years.
  • Two-thirds of SAC’s reported having difficulty finding volunteers for lots of reasons: traumatizing/difficult work, socio-economic or demographic characteristics of the regions (ex: aging population, rural with lack of transportation, volunteers seeking paid jobs, etc.), and difficulties attracting French-speaking volunteers at French SAC’s.

theme_01More info! Continue reading

Where Do You Draw The Line?

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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.