2012 Annual Report - Sexual Assault Centre London


2012 Annual Report - Sexual Assault Centre London
Safe Spaces ....
for Healing,
for Learning,
for Action.
t sexual violence.
2 a
Our World without sexual violence.
2011 • 12
Message from Board Chair and Executive Director
A safe space is where it all begins: the healing, the shattering of one’s silence on sexual violence,
the lifting of the veil of blame, the stepping into one’s power, the taking action to create change.
As we reflect on our accomplishments in the past year, the first words in our mission statement,
“We create safe spaces” are woven through all of our actions.
In May, thanks to the talents and caring of many special people, we held our first Annual Gala
Event – Wine, Dine and Showtime. The community’s response was generous and enthusiastic!
Creating a fun space to mobilize our community in fundraising is critical to creating safe spaces
for healing.
New pathways to healing were developed: Tea Time, a drop in group for women who were
waiting for service, to connect and feel welcomed and more stabilization groups providing clients
with relevant and practical tools to help them cope with symptoms of post traumatic stress.
Our trained volunteers, the foundation of our organization, responded to more calls this year,
supporting and reassuring women and men in crisis. They stepped up to assist with child care,
accompaniments and support groups.
Through our Healthy Relationships and Public Education and Outreach Programs, we created
collective shared spaces for learning, for girls’ leadership and new and innovative spaces for
youth activism. We created a safe space for a Youth Activist Group that made a difference by
using their voices through culture jamming, demonstrations and chalking to redefine the kind
of relationships and communities they want to have. We launched Be the RevolYOUTHtion
(www.saclyouth.ca), an on-line space for youth to explore some of the many ways youth can
use their voices, their talents and energy to create a world free of sexual violence.
One of the most significant changes was our move to a new office space. As companions on
clients’ healing journey, the physical space we offer is critical. Our clients are appreciating the
new, custom-designed, clean, bright, and spacious office space.
Without a safe space, changing the lives of survivors and changing attitudes about sexual
violence would not be possible. Thanks to the commitment and caring of staff, volunteers and
Board, the engagement of our community, and the investment of youth and activists in a vision
of a world free of sexual violence, Sexual Assault Centre London is ready to take its work to the
next level.
In Solidarity,
Rebecca Ellis
Rebecca Ellis
Board Chair
Louise Pitre
Executive Director
We moved!
“We create safe spaces for survivors to break their silence” is the
first statement in our mission statement. Survivors’ healing journeys
are as varied as the survivors’ themselves however, one
key enabling factor on the healing journey is consistent: a
physical space that is quiet, welcoming, warm, bright, and
secure. On January 9, 2012, we found such a physical
space, after more than five years of searching.
Thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s
Community Capital Fund, Sexual Assault Centre London was granted
$80,600 to relocate and renovate a 3,500 square foot shared space.
This new location has increased the Centre’s visibility to the general
public. The number of women walking into our office and asking about our
services is greater than the past six years in our previous location. Now
that our office space is accessible, we are providing services to more
women who have accessibility challenges. With a number of community
partners co-located in the same building, it has also provided us with more
opportunities for collaboration.
With our new custom-designed space, centrally located, accessible, with
great lighting and controlled entrances, we are well poised for the future.
“The first day after we moved, I came in early and all the office
doors were open …the sun was rising and the whole space was
filled with warmth, beauty and sunshine. I felt so happy that
morning. I had finally left the dungeon.” – (Employee)
“You are so lucky to have such a nice place.” – (Community Partner)
“Wow! This is nice! “ – (Client)
Through our individual and group counselling
programs as well as our 24 hour crisis and
support line, survivors of sexual violence are
supported on their healing journey.
Free, confidential and non-judgemental individual counselling
and support.
h 94%
of the women who received individual
counselling felt the environment at SACL
was supportive and welcoming.
h 84% of the callers who received support on
the crisis line identified that the support from
the trained volunteer made a difference.
Counselling Statistics
35 women and girls received counselling
services. A 17% increase from last fiscal year.
h 26 women received advocacy support and
assistance for issues related to immigration,
criminal injuries compensation board, criminal
justice system and health care system.
Crisis Line Statistics
esponded to 646 crisis calls. A 15%
increase over last year.
h 75% of the calls identified calling as a result
of sexual violence
h 9% of the calls were from men.
“It feels safe here. They are
compassionate and understanding.
One can build TRUST in such an
environment. The humanity matters
here. That helps. I am grateful for
my counsellor. She is kind, loving and
patient…. That’s healing.” – (Client)
“When a woman who had experienced
childhoo d sexual abuse was struggling
with self-har ming behaviours and
feelings of self-blame, was able to
process, during individual counseling,
that the abuse was not her fault and
she was able to say aloud and truly
believe that she was worth it. SACL
helped to change her life. Today, she
makes choices for herself regarding
intimate relationships and uses
grounding tools that she learned at the
Sexual Assault Centre London to reduce
self-har ming behaviours” – (Counsellor)
With some clients, there is no one.
We count for the no ones! We are
there when the phone rings, we are
there when we are needed in support.
We are there when we are needed at
the hospital. We never judge. We are
there for them and for ourselves...
ALWAYS!” – (Volunteer)
Finding ways to increase access to timely and high quality services for
all survivors is an important leadership role for the Sexual Assault Centre
London. Thanks to an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, the Sexual
Assault Centre London facilitated a study that explored the challenges and
opportunities for creating a local model to coordinate services for survivors
of sexual violence in London and Middlesex.
Creating opportunities to listen to the voices of the people who
use the system was the first priority of the project. To this end,
survivors were involved throughout the initiative as members of the
Advisory Committee and as survey and focus group participants.
Although the voices and experiences of survivors were distinct,
there were several themes that resonated throughout the data.
Survivors wanted:
• To heal as whole people, not just as survivors of violence;
they also want healing for their families,
• To be treated with respect and compassion and to have a
voice in how service happens,
• To be involved in their own healing process and to make a
contribution to larger society,
• To have the services they need available to them when they
need them, for as long as they need them,
• To be aware of all of the services that are available, and support
for referrals,
• The public to be more aware of sexual violence and for
education at all levels of society to be increased and ongoing.
Creating safe and innovative spaces for healing requires all of us to
be working together. In the next year, SACL will work with survivors
and community partners to implement concrete actions that will lead
to greater impact for survivors of sexual violence.
me to
“It takes a long time to co
grips with being sexually
so messe d
I ha d no idea why I was
up.” – (Survivor)
“I am the Centre an d ever
is around me” – (Survivor)
Working upstream to prevent sexual violence from happening in the
first place is an important part of the work we do.
Through our Healthy Relationships Program, we equip girls and young women with the knowledge,
skills and tools to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationship patterns and challenge the gender
violence in their lives. Through our Public Education and Outreach Program, we educate young
people and the general public about sexual violence, how to recognize it, how to connect people
to supportive resources and how to be active bystanders. We believe that creating safe spaces for
learning leads to raising consciousness and inspires youth and the community to create change.
Healthy Relationships Program Statistics
0 teenage girls were provided a safe and
non-judgemental space to talk about and
learn about healthy and unhealthy relationship
patterns in their lives.
Public Education Program Statistics
,779 youth received presentations on how to
recognize sexual violence, how to help someone
access the support or resources they need to
address sexual violence and how to be an active
bystander to intervene when they see acts of
sexual violence.
h 285 women and men through our Public
Education Program received specialized training
on topics related to handling disclosures of
sexual violence sensitively and compassionately,
enthusiastic consent and healthy relationships.
nt characteristics
“I learned the differe
hy relationships
of healthy an d unhealt
learned how to
an d bo un daries an d I
nt to spread
be more assertive. I wa
against people
awareness of violence
lp my frien ds
in relationships an d he
tics of go od
un derstand characteris
ant in Healthy
relationships.” – (Particip
Relationship Group)
no! Yo u have
“When a partner says
Student –
to sto p” – (High Scho ol
Presentation on Conse
th me, how
“I will forever take wi
in our daily
wo men are portraye d
cts not value d
lives as negative obje
(High Scho ol
as a hu man being.” –
on Me dia
Student, Presentation
Representations of Gir
unho oking
“I was surprised that
bra straps was sexual
the time”.
because guys do it all
– Presentation
– (High Scho ol Student ent)
on Sexual Harassm
The Girls Helping Girls project, generously funded by Status of
Women Canada, ended this past fiscal year. The project highlighted the
importance and the impact of creating collective shared space to tap
into girls and young women’s leadership potential.
“Expanding their understanding of leadership and growing
into their potential and capacity through collaboration and the
creation of safe spaces, peer and adult mentors learned to listen
to and value others’ experience, to use their own voices and trust
their passion, to honour their respective and collective wisdom, to
create work that was meaningful, and with which they could step
into their roles as leaders in their respective communities, and to
mobilize others to do the same.” – (Project Coordinator)
”My involvement has impacted how I see and feel about myself.
I see myself as someone who has a lot of wisdom, experience and
knowledge that I can impart to others. I feel that my voice is
important, and this has affirmed my leadership and public speaking
capacity, and I see myself far more capable than before.” (peer)
“My notions of leadership were challenged. This is a different style of
leadership, with no one position of expert. My notions were revised.
I thought it was interesting to step into a role of lived experience
and not make it about being an expert space. I liked being able to
bring my own experience in a consulting way and not from a pity
place.” (peer)
Girls Helping Girls Stats:
15 participants
h 4 adult mentors + 26 peer mentors involved
h 5 conference presentations reached 195 participants
of our
Our Public Education and Outreach Program plays
an important role in making visible the issue of sexual
violence and creating innovative spaces for community
members to speak up, act out and create change.
This past year, we participated in and organized, with a number of community partners, various
events. We kicked off Sexual Assault Awareness Month with a roller derby bout hosted by
the LOCO Roller Derby women. This group of strong, feisty women raised $ 2,200 for our
organization. We stood in solidarity with youth leaders in our community who organized London`s
first Slut Walk, inspired by comments made by a representative of the Toronto Police. He stated
that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. We continued to have
a strong presence at Take Back the Night. We collaborated with the London Intercommunity
Health Centre and the Central Library to host a screening of the film Miss Representation. The film
explores how the media`s representations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women
in positions of power and influence. In collaboration with The Amazon Collective, we organized, for
the first time a Saint Patrick`s Awareness Day and engaged College and University students to take
a stand against sexual violence.
Another important outcome of this program was the new and innovative youth specific web site
that was created by youth for youth. Be the RevolYOUTHtion (www.saclyouth.ca) is a space to
explore some of the many ways that youth can make a difference. The website redefines the kind of
relationships and communities that youth want and shows that there is a lot that other (adult!) social
movements could learn from youth activists. It demonstrates the need for more of a partnership
between all of us, regardless of age, in creating a better world. Real change cannot be made
without youth voices being heard and their experiences made visible!
Outreach Program Statistics:
Reached more than 2000 individuals
In May 2011, we launched our premier
gala event: Wine, Dine and Showtime!
We are proud to report that this
inaugural effort surpassed all targets and
expectations, including guest attendance,
community spirit, support and net revenues.
Last year, because of your generosity, we provided more support and
counselling services to women and girls. We increased the number of
women receiving individual and group counseling by 17% and completed
48% more intakes. This meant that more women and girls received
access to important crisis support at their time of need. Without your
generosity, we could not have achieved such significant results.
Thank you to our Sponsors and our Donors:
An African proverb states: “If you want to walk fast, walk alone.
If you want to walk far, walk together”. Thank you for walking
with us. With your support, we will achieve our vision of our world
without sexual violence.
Statement of General Operating Fund Revenues and Expenditures.
Year ended March 31, 2012.
Rola Chadi (Treasurer)
Lynne Booker – Collins
Mary Ellen Costea (Secretary)
Kim Edwards
Rebecca Ellis (Chair)
Stephanie Field (Vice Chair)
Michele Paddon
Tobi Siew
Priscilla Staats
Susan Abercromby
Mahnaz Beiraghdar
Heather Fredin
Katy Harold
Barbara Jones Warwick
Carmen Marti
Jane McGregor
Tina O’Connor
Louise Pitre
Sarah Scanlon
Alicia M Dow
Amparo Ribero
Anne-Marie Sanchez
Ashley Watson
Bethany Radford
Brandi Broadley
Caiti Barendregt-Brown
Cassandra Pacini
Catherine Almeida
Courtney Gillis
Cynthia Taylor
Dan McCutcheon
Danielle DeBlock
Denise Dunn
Emily Whiston
Erin Wiley
Fanny Leveau
Farzana Zaman
Francesca Schiavone
Hannah Carter
Janice Campbell
Jennifer Henderson
Jennifer Leandro
Jennifer MacWhiter-DiRaimo
Jessica Dunsworth
John Swales
Joy Wang
Julia Marshall
Julie Howes
Julie Quigg
Julie M. McDonald
Kara Gavigan
Karen Weima
Katie Marentette
Kerry Hurst
Kim Hynds
Kim Solga
Kimberly Gautreau
Thank you to OUR FUNDERS and donors
Lynne Williams
Mahnaz Beiraghdar
Mandi Harris
Marilyn Smyth
Mary Anne Shanahan
Melanie O’Brien
Munira Ahmed
Narissa Khan
Niyati Mohit Malkani
Pamela Michienzi
Sheila Alberto
Stacy Mitchell
Tara Cox
Tishara Wijayanayaka
Tracy D’Angelo
Wendy Rose
Youlya Khankan
Yvonne Lammers
Vision Statement
Our World Without Sexual Violence
Mission Statement
We create safe spaces for survivors of sexual violence
to break their silence.
We listen.
We bear witness.
We facilitate healing.
We celebrate resiliency and courage.
We educate,
We advocate,
We agitate
To create social change.
Values Statement
Grounded in our feminist roots, we value
2011 • 12