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International Women’s Day Celebration March 8, 2021

International Women’s Day Celebration March 8, 2021

Nominate Inspiring Women in Your Community – Click here for the nomination form!

Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey will be partnering with Bruce County to present our annual International Woman’s Day Celebration on Tuesday, March 8th, 2021 – this year will be a little different, in that we will be doing an on-line event, so watch our social media pages for updates and details.  You will not want to miss the keynote speaker we have lined up!!  We’re working on some partnerships with local restaurants and businesses to bring you a wonderful event experience, which will include a Silent Auction and our annual Woman of Distinction awards.  This year we are opening the nominations to two categories: Woman of Distinction Award and the Young Woman of Distinction Award, and we need your help to find these amazing individuals in our communities! 

“Over the years, there have been some phenomenal women nominated”, states Executive Director Lisa Owen. “It’s a beautifully heart-warming experience to receive those nominations and to celebrate those women for how they have touched the world.  Please, if you know a woman of distinction, take the time to nominate her.  There’s ample time still to gather the information and put together a strong application.”

Nominators are encouraged to submit a 200 word biography/outline explaining why this person should be recognized as a Woman of Distinction or Young Woman of Distinction, along with the Nomination Form (attached). We have established the following criteria that will guide us in making our final decision:

Criteria:

-provides inspiration and motivation to others

-recognized as a positive role model through example, mentoring and education

-consistently displays leadership qualities

-promotes and supports equality, improved opportunities and choices in the community

-demonstrates vision, innovation or creativity and the courage to take risks

-advocates positive changes in society through the impact of her activities, particularly for women and girls

-must be a resident of Bruce or Grey County

-Note:  all above criteria also applies for the Young Woman of Distinction award, but in addition, they must be to young women who are still in school, under the age of majority

Nominations for the annual Woman (and Young Woman) of Distinction Awards will be accepted until February, 15th, 2021 at 4:00pm. The winners will be contacted prior to the event to ensure they will be able to be in attendance, and they will be announced publicly on March 8th, at the International Women’s Day on-line event.  

Please send your nominations February, 15th, 2021 at 4:00pm to Michelle Lamont by mail at Box 760, Kincardine, ON N2Z 2Z4, by email at mlamont@whsbg.on.ca or by fax at (519) 396-7800 – due to COVID-19 restrictions, preference is by email.  If you have any questions or concerns about nominations, International Women’s Day or Women’s House in general, please contact Michelle at (519) 396-9814 ext.225 or mlamont@whsbg.on.ca.   

Click here for the nomination form!

November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month

November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month

November is Woman Abuse Awareness Month.  Woman abuse is not a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue, and affects us all.  Together we can work to end woman abuse, because we all have the right to feel safe and secure.  

To raise awareness of the issue of violence against women, and in honour of Woman Abuse Prevention Month, staff at Women’s House wrote articles, which you will find below. Please take the time to read, reflect and consider the impact of violence against women in our own communities.

Donate to Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey during the month of November through our Stay Safe WAAM event, and for every $20 donation, as a “thank you”, we’ll send you a specially designed mask to help you Stay Safe while you are joining us to work towards eliminating violence against women, and also helping the women we support to Stay Safe too. 

Click here to make your donation!

We are required to fundraise $140,746 this year in order to fill the gap between our expenses and government funding so that we can continue to provide the necessary items and services to the women and children in need in our community.

You can make a donation directly through our Canada Helps page by clicking here

Ask yourself – what can I do to help prevent, and ultimately end, violence against women and children?

  • Educate yourself on violence against women; learn the facts and the prevalence
  • Believe survivors
  • Contact your local school board and ask them to address sexual harassment in schools
  • Speak out against all forms of violence
  • Question gender roles and assumptions
  • Respect and embrace diversity
  • Respect a person’s-even a child’s- right to say no
  • Respect your partner’s right to disagree or have their own opinion
  • Don’t blame victims, and reinforce that abuse is never the victim’s fault
  • Strive for equality for everyone
  • Learn about power and control tactics
  • Attend Take Back the Night events
  • Ask permission before pursuing physical or sexual contact with someone
  • Teach kids that respect is the minimum in a relationship, and lead by example
  • Advocate for victim’s rights
  • Teach kids that violence will not solve problems
  • Be courageous; don’t be afraid to speak up for those who have lost their voice or dignity
  • Praise women and girls for something other than the way they look
  • Applaud others who speak out against violence and oppression
  • Pledge to never commit or condone acts of violence
  • Make a decision to become an active bystander by speaking up and calling for help when necessary
  • Respect the choices victims and survivors make to survive
  • Empathize
  • Think globally and act locally
  • Hold perpetrators accountable for disrespecting their partners when you see it or hear it
  • Engage others in discussions about violence against women
Donations and Stay Safe Masks for Women Abuse Awareness Month (WAAM)

Donations and Stay Safe Masks for Women Abuse Awareness Month (WAAM)

November is Woman Abuse Awareness Month.  Woman abuse is not a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue, and affects us all.  Together we can work to end woman abuse, because we all have the right to feel safe and secure.  

Donate to Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey during the month of November through our Stay Safe WAAM event, and for every $20* donation, as a “thank you”, we’ll send* you a specially designed mask (details apply), to help you Stay Safe while you are joining us to work towards eliminating violence against women, and also helping the women we support to Stay Safe too. 

Click here to make your donation!

Wear your mask proudly and keep the conversation going.

DETAILS

For the whole month of November, in support of Woman Abuse Awareness Month, we encourage you to make a donation to Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey (and receive a mask, as thanks, for every $20 donation), in support of the women we serve, who have experienced violence in their lives, and are working towards a violence-free, safe and secure life.  We all want to Stay Safe.

Part of our mandate is to educate the public about violence against women. If you had a friend or family member in need of help, would you know what to do? Would you recognize the signs of abuse? Most of us probably recognize a healthy relationship, but may have trouble articulating what it is that makes it healthy. If you want to help a friend or family member, call us. You don’t have to be in crisis to seek our help.

Business Line 519.396.9814

Support Line 519.396.9655

Toll Free 1.800.265.3026

Sexual Assault Support Line 1.866.578.5566

“One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time. Violence against women is an appalling human rights violation. But it is not inevitable. We can put a stop to this.” Nicole Kidman

*In thanks for your donation, you are eligible to receive one Stay Safe Mask for every $20 donation this month through our Stay Safe WAAM event, to help you Stay Safe while you are joining us to work towards eliminating violence against women, and also helping the women we support to Stay Safe too. If you make a donation for $40 or more, you can choose to have multiple masks – please specify when completing the on-line information, your mailing address, and how many masks you would like to be sent to you (there will be a maximum, based on your donation – eg. $20= 1 mask; $40=2 masks; $60=3 masks, etc.). Wear it proudly, and keep the conversation going.

Click here to make your donation!

Ask yourself, what can you do?

  • Educate yourself on violence against women; learn the facts and the prevalence
  • Believe survivors
  • Contact your local school board and ask them to address sexual harassment in schools
  • Speak out against all forms of violence
  • Question gender roles and assumptions
  • Respect and embrace diversity
  • Respect a person’s-even a child’s- right to say no
  • Respect your partner’s right to disagree or have their own opinion
  • Don’t blame victims, and reinforce that abuse is never the victim’s fault
  • Strive for equality for everyone
  • Learn about power and control tactics
  • Attend Take Back the Night events
  • Ask permission before pursuing physical or sexual contact with someone
  • Teach kids that respect is the minimum in a relationship, and lead by example
  • Advocate for victim’s rights
  • Teach kids that violence will not solve problems
  • Be courageous; don’t be afraid to speak up for those who have lost their voice or dignity
  • Praise women and girls for something other than the way they look
  • Applaud others who speak out against violence and oppression
  • Pledge to never commit or condone acts of violence
  • Make a decision to become an active bystander by speaking up and calling for help when necessary
  • Respect the choices victims and survivors make to survive
  • Empathize
  • Think globally and act locally
  • Hold perpetrators accountable for disrespecting their partners when you see it or hear it
  • Engage others in discussions about violence against women

Click here to make your donation!

Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey Solidarity Statement

July 2020

Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey (WHSBG) acknowledges and condemns the recent events of racial injustice and systemic violence affecting racialized populations, both in Canada and around the globe.  It is systemic because it keeps happening repeatedly, and because little is done to hold those that harm accountable. We express our solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls movements, and join the call to action to help create the change that is needed.

We, in the helping sector, acknowledge the power imbalance between service providers and those who access services. We work diligently to create a safe, nonjudgmental, and supportive environment for the vulnerable population that reaches out. Women’s House has zero tolerance for any service provider abusing this power to re-victimize, bring trauma and create divide. Women’s House calls for all service providers to be mindful of this dynamic and to exercise thoughtful care in practicing the great honour of being a helping professional.

Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey operates with the following principles in mind:

  • We believe that education is necessary to bring about effective changes in attitude. We believe in challenging statements and beliefs that minimize the seriousness of racism, oppression, abuse and sexual violence.
  • We recognize that all women face misogyny and sexism; however, some bear an additional burden of oppression due to racism.
  • We believe that systemic racism, discrimination, and oppression based on race, religion, class, sexual orientation, gender identification, age and ability must be addressed as part of an integrated approach to ending poverty, abuse, sexual violence and homelessness in the lives of women.

If you are directly affected by systemic violence or racism, please know that we care about you and what you are dealing with. We stand in support of you.

If you are a white ally to people and communities of color, there are things you can do. You can:

  • Learn about the history of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in Canada
  • Reflect on the biases this has created in you and in others
  • Remain as a witness or bystander in situations where someone may be affected by racial stereotyping, stigma or systemic violence
  • If you see person of color being questioned or detained, ask if they need support
  • Understand that there are alternative, non-punitive ways of dealing with crisis or conflict that do not always involve law enforcement.

We stand in solidarity with our communities both locally, provincially, nationally and globally. We are committed to addressing systemic racism and violence through educating ourselves and promoting public awareness. We recognize that being an ally is a continual and ongoing practice. We strive to be the best allies possible by being informed, engaged and thinking critically about our own actions online, in person, and within radical moments of change like the one we are currently living in.

Women’s House encourages solidarity, support and celebration on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Media Release – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Name: Michelle Lamont

Telephone number: (519)396-9814 Ex.225

Email: mlamont@whsbg.on.ca

Date: Monday, June 22, 2020

Women’s House encourages solidarity, support and celebration on National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous Peoples Day/MMIW June 21, 2020

National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations may look different this year, but creativity and imagination can provide many options for marking the occasion.

For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this date due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year. Having a National Indigenous Peoples Day reminds all Canadians to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis.

One way to learn more is to read a digital copy of one of the books from the #IndigenousReads reading list. Virtual activities are available as well, such as museum exhibits. Social media is a great source to find Indigenous musicians, comedians and historians. In one Grey-Bruce town, local businesses have partnered with a young Indigenous woman and have created displays of her First Nations regalia and collection of First Nations art as a way to mark the occasion.

In this current climate of increased awareness and calls to action to end systemic racial violence, Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey takes this opportunity to express support for the recommendations of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry.

The final report of the Inquiry was published in June 2019 and includes many calls to action. Among them, the need to address the root causes of the disproportionate violence against Indigenous women and girls, the need for preventative action, and improved responses from the justice system.

This fundamental report, made possible through the truths and impacts on thousands of survivors, family members and experts, continues to sit in waiting for the Federal government to respond with action. The failure to implement a timely response perpetuates the ongoing systemic oppression of Indigenous women and girls. It is time to show national solidarity in addressing the Inquiry’s recommendations, and support Indigenous peoples working to eradicate violence against women and girls.

We encourage each other to educate ourselves, read the report and find ways to be allies in this most important struggle.

Service Update Regarding Covid-19 as of March 26, 2020

We have modified our services in order to promote self-isolation and social distancing in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, however we are still providing essential services. We are doing our best to ensure that we maintain the safety and security of women and children in Shelter, as well as our staff members who must remain on site to provide support in the Shelter and maintain our crisis lines.

We recognize that in times of stress and uncertainty, our services are required more than ever in our community. When a woman is in a home that is unsafe, the practice of self-isolation can put her at further risk for domestic violence, can create less opportunity for her to get the support she needs, and can make it even more difficult to leave an unsafe situation.

All staff at Women’s House who have the ability to work remotely will be doing so. Outreach Services are being offered in a remote capacity, and are providing services by phone and email.

The Shelter and crisis lines remain operational, and we have taken the following measures to ensure staff and resident safety:

• Increased sanitation and infection control measures have been put in place and social distancing practices have been implemented for staff and residents.
• At this time, we are unable to accept in kind donations at our shelter. Financial donations can be accepted via direct mail or online through CanadaHelps at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/15772
• Guests will not be provided access to the Shelter at this time.

Supporting Sexual Assault Survivors

SUPPORTING SEXUAL VIOLENCE SURVIVORS

Did you know? Sexual assault cases are not always resolved through the criminal justice system.

Canadian research shows that only 33 out of every 1,000 sexual assault cases are reported to the police. While it is important that survivors of sexual violence have access to the legal system, they may also need other kinds of supports.

WHAT DOES SUPPORT MEAN?

For survivors of sexual violence, it means…

Being believed: feeling believed and reassured that they are not to blame for what happened

(Violence Against Women Learning Network, 2012: 27)

Trauma-informed: support people understand how trauma impacts survivors and the ways they cope

Culturally safe services: survivors identify that they need support people who understand their community identity (e.g., LGBTTIQQ2SAA+, Indigenous, Francophone, faith-based identity)

A variety of helpful options: crisis, ongoing support, help navigating systems

Dedicated sexual assault services: support by folks who know about sexual violence and its impacts.

#OntarioSACs

#WeBelieveSurvivors

This infographic was compiled by Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, using data from an external review of sexual violence services in Ontario (Review of Sexual Violence and Harassment Counselling Services and Helplines. Ontario Ministry of the Status of Women. 2017[1]).

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, go to: www.sexualassaultsupport.ca/support


[1] Ontario Ministry of the Status of Women and Shore Consulting. November 2017. Review of Sexual Violence and Harassment Counselling Services and Helplines: Report. p. 6-7, 10.