Today, on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, we stand in solidarity and support with one another at The Gathering Place in the Town of Cobourg, Ontario to remember Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.

These are the women who lost their lives in the tragic mass shooting at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal (December 6, 1989).

Today marks 30 years since this somber day in Canadian history.

Today, we also remember the 37 women in Ontario who have been murdered or who have gone missing. Thank you to Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses for their commitment to honouring the lives of these women through their work on Femicide. The 2018/2019 Annual Femicide List is available on the OAITH website.


Below is OAITH’s Statement: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:

December 6th 2019 marks 30 years since 14 women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal were killed because of their gender. Today OAITH will remember, reflect and take action as we observe the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. December 6th Vigils are occurring across Ontario to ensure they are not forgotten. We call on Ontarian’s to take time today to remember and be active in the change we need to end men’s violence against women. Learn more about their lives and who we lost on December 6th, 1989.

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30 Years After December 6th 1989

30 Years Later: Shelters are full with hundreds of women turned away every day across Canada. Shelters should never be full, as it means a woman being harmed can’t access a safe space.

30 years Later Demand for service has never been greater to respond to the violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation that women experience at the hands of cis-gender men.

30 Years Later Misogyny and Trans Misogyny continues to permeate our homes, streets, schools, communities and workplaces, with violent and tragic attacks and killing of women, girls and 2SLGBTQ people in Ontario and across Canada.

30 Years Later 231 Individual Calls for Justice have been developed in response to the staggering rates of Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls and 2-Spirit Peoples 30 Years Later OAITH has tracked more than 780 acts of Femicide reported by the media in Ontario.

30 Years Later We’re fundraising to save the lives of women and children 30 Years Later There were 36 Women and Girls killed by Cis-Gender Men during 2019 in Ontario.

30 Years Later We are joining the call for the Liberal Government to implement their commitment for a National Action Plan on Violence Against Women in year 1 of their mandate.

30 Years Later And We’re Still Counting Femicides.

OAITH represents over 75 Violence Against Women Shelters and Community-Based Organizations who work on the front lines every day. Together we work to end all violence against women and girls in Ontario through Advocacy, Public Education, Training and Resources. OAITH Tracks and Analyzes Media Reports and Publishes the Annual Ontario Femicide List.

And Still We Shine

On September 19, 2019 we partnered with Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre to Take Back The Night in Cobourg.  We invited the Town of Cobourg’s Poet Laureate, Jessica Outram, to be a part of the rally’s spoken word program.  She wrote this moving poem.  We are grateful for her giving voice to #EndViolence.

And Still We Shine

Darkness can remind me:

shallow breaths alert

memory lurks amid flickering streetlights

centuries of silence

decades of shouting

and some voices lost

drowned by muted volume

and some voices found

raised by waving chants

and still we shine

growing up with eyes of night beasts

burning holes through clenched fists

sometimes wrapped around keys

we learned more about whistles no one hears than

violence we don’t want to talk about

and still, now

we understand what it feels like to walk in the night

thick shadows rolling like smog

mornings and afternoons

among friends and strangers

and still we shine

sometimes losing to fear

on angry trails of vanishing dignity

scattering identity like breadcrumbs

lost in the woods

the way things were and are


we reach to

let go of this weight once and for all

to fly

then remember women in red dresses gone

beyond the medicine wheels

we mourn for children who trust us

to protect

we grasp lanterns with icicle hands to beam

into cracks as we whisper

are you still there?

am I still here?

and still we shine

a story I tell myself is about tomorrow

this work-in-progress

a story without a face

and still sometimes we cry

heavy innocence until we are blind

because it hurts too much to see

feel our sisters and our mothers and our children

persisting in a lingering war

so we march

our footsteps living ghosts

and yet nights can still haunt beneath a sky of niceties

and normalcy and neighborhoods with new wreaths on doors

since we know burning

houses and looted streets

can breed

behind welcome signs

yet here we are together and tonight and still we shine

brighter than ever before

lighting up truth

raising up girls and women we love into the sun

offering experience

like bottles of wine at a dinner party

redefining the circle of life with allies

this story without an ending

beginning the year you were born and streaming

united to reclaim nights and rights

we rally to undo ages of sick unbalance

assured we have already made a difference

thank god

and still


we shine into this night

above homes

around workplaces

beneath the jungles of our lives

inhaling our learned peace

we sing mighty ballads

one voice

beaming hope for granddaughters

who will walk on shimmering

stones of true freedom

a growing collection of gold

gushing from each confident breath

we are lit from within

impervious to the dark

bold, beautiful, and satisfied

taking back the night

claiming a light

and still we shine.

By Jessica Outram, Town of Cobourg Poet Laureate, Take Back The Night, September 2019

Sexual Assault Prevention Month Awareness Campaign 2019

May 1st marks the start of Sexual Assault Prevention Month. Ontario recognizes this month as a time to raise awareness about the impact of sexual assault and focus on the measures being taken to stop violence and support survivors.

Alcohol and other substances are involved in about 25-50% of sexual assaults reported both locally and across the country. The use of substances in sexual assaults is an important issue that asks us to look at and understand the issue a little differently.

The HKLN Drug Strategy will be participating in #SAPM by increasing awareness about the role of alcohol and other drugs in sexual assaults during the week of May 6-10th. We have put together a social media toolkit to help others engage in this important conversation.  Each day of the week will have a targeted message, with links to connect you to additional information and resources. Click here to see a message from the contributing partners.

Please help us by using this toolkit and sharing our social media messages widely.

Click here to subscribe to the drug strategy’s E-Newsletter for SAPM campaign details, and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Inviting Resilience

Inviting Resilience is a national conference hosted by Trent UniversityKawartha Sexual Assault Centre; and The Mane Intent Inc on May 21 & May 22, 2019 at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. The Inviting Resilience Conference will combine academic and experiential learning to provide meaningful opportunities in building community capacity for the newest evidence-based practices; community-driven, multi-sectoral initiatives; and trauma-informed programming focused on building resilience in youth and adults impacted by childhood adversity and interpersonal trauma over the lifespan.

Learn what is required to create and nurture resilient communities. Gain ideas and create meaningful connections with others who share an interest in trauma-informed programming. Build your toolkit of coping skills and resilience-building resources that you can bring to your practice, your community initiatives, your organization and your life.

The conference program is designed for researchers, practitioners, program facilitators, health care professionals, educators, social workers and other knowledge workers in community service, education, public health and crime prevention with an interest in strengths-based, trauma-informed community programs and research in the areas of mental health, trauma, youth, resilience, socio-emotional learning and equine-assisted learning.


The Empowering Internet Safety Guide for Women

Published by VPN Mentor

Have you ever been harassed in the street? Received a crass message on a dating app? Had a coworker make a comment about your appearance that just didn’t sit right?

You’re not alone.

With the #MeToo movement, it’s easy to log onto Twitter or Facebook and see just how many women are victims of sexual harassment. Whether in person or online, women everywhere have experienced it in one way or another. And with all the new ways the internet has opened avenues of communication, online harassment is more prevalent than ever.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, most online abuse takes place on social media. Although men are also subject to online harassment – which includes name calling, derision, and physical threats – the study found that online, women are more than twice as likely as men to experience sexual harassment.

In addition, more than half of women ages 18-29 report having been sent sexually explicit images without their consent.

This number is only growing, and while 70% of women believe online harassment to be a major problem, not many know how to prevent it.

Women are often targeted simply because they are women. Attacks are often sexualized or misogynistic, and rhetoric tends to focus on their bodies and sexual violence. This is both physically and emotionally damaging, and women are often intimidated into silence, preferring to disengage rather than put themselves at risk.

However, there are ways we can protect ourselves.

This guide was written with the intention of empowering women to navigate the internet without fear. We discuss common occurrences in which women are subject to harassment in their daily lives – on social media, at work, while dating, and more – and give tips and advice on how women can take control.

It is important for us to note that some of the advice given here encourages anonymity, rather than risking being targeted. While this may seem to run counter to the idea of encouraging self-expression, we believe that every woman should be empowered to make that choice for herself.

Our job is to give you the tools you need to do that.

We hope this guide encourages women everywhere to defend and protect themselves, and to stand up to sexual harassment, both on and off the web.

Harassment on Social Media

The majority of online harassment takes place on social media, which makes sense given how much time most of us spend on these platforms. Broad social networks, often combined with anonymity, leads to a reality in which anything you post, tweet, or share opens you up to potential abuse.

Below, we delve into the most popular social media platforms, and show you how to protect yourself from creeps, trolls, and stalkers.



Drop In Centre available for women in crisis

Thrive Northumberland offers a drop in centre every Monday morning for women who are in crisis.  This is a walk-in service – no appointment is necessary.  Childcare is available.

Thrive Northumberland coordinates immediate support for women who are experiencing or fleeing from violence, abuse or assault.  Onsite support from various community agencies is available, including counselling, family court support, employment services and housing assistance.

Thrive Northumberland is located inside Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre at 45 Swayne Street, Cobourg, Ontario.  If you are not able to travel to the centre you can call 905.372.1545 for immediate, confidential help over the phone.

The Thrive Northumberland Drop In Centre operates every Monday from 9am to 12pm.  For 24/7 help call the Cornerstone Crisis Line at 1.800.263.3757.

Trauma informed harm reduction tools centering women

On March 2, 2018 the Women & HIV?Aids Initiative @ PARN is hosting a workshop for community service providers with an interest in knowing more about harm reduction.

March 2 Workshop

There will be arts-based activities, women with lived exerience sharing their experiences and tools to expand your practice. The workshop will be talking about specifically gendered experiences.

This is a free session from 1-3pm on March 2nd at 159 King Street in Peterborough, Ontario.  To register email Ariel at ariel@parn.ca or call 705.749.9110.

Ariel O’Neill is the Women and HIV Animator at PARN (Your Community AIDS Resource Network) part of a provincial network of health promoters and community developers who work to reduce systemic barriers facing women, including violence and stigma, which contribute to HIV risk acquisition.

Ariel has a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Political Science) from the University of Ottawa, is a certified Compassion Fatigue Trainer and a seasoned facilitator and speaker. More importantly, she has lived experience of family impacts of addiction and trauma and has worked with people experiencing multiple complexities.

Excited about creativity, social justice and equity, Ariel is a lifelong feminist and has worked in research, crisis intervention and staff development settings. She additionally has lobbied locally and provincially for reproductive health access. Her current role includes seasonal lectures at Trent University in the School of Nursing, placement student supervision, art based discussion groups at Central East Corrections Centre and One Roof Diner as well as in house promotion of trauma informed tools and approaches to harm reduction work.


Save the Date for Imaginate 2018


One-Day Conference Program

Green Wood Coalition is pleased to present IMAGINATE 2018 – a one-day conference and evening of performance and talks exploring some of the most pressing social issues of our time. The daytime conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and include a selection of workshops and panel discussions, morning refreshments and a catered lunch.

Upon purchase of your ticket, you will be prompted to choose workshop preferences.

Friday Morning, March 23

8:30 a.m. Check in/Registration, Victoria Hall

9:00 a.m. Keynote Speaker Jesse Thistle

Cree-Metis on his mother’s side and Algonquin-Scot on his father’s side, Jesse is a Ph.D. candidate in History, a Trudeau and Vanier Scholar, and a Governor General Medalist. For the past 2 years as the Resident Scholar on Indigenous Homelessness for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, he wrote the Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada. His lived-experience with addiction and homelessness has shaped the way he approaches homeless policy, Indigenous history, social work, and addiction studies.

10:00 a.m. Break with Refreshments

10:30 a.m. Morning Workshops (Choose one)

A. Murphy’s Law Film Screening – Megan Murphy, Filmmaker Award-winning documentary chronicles the filmmaker’s story of self-discovery and healing as she retraces her late father’s journey through Ireland. Audience Q & A will follow.

B. Engaging the Other– Christian Harvey, Director of Warming Room, Peterborough Interactive workshop that explores meaningful engagement and interconnectedness of those who “help” with those who are “marginalized”. (Limited to first 30 participants)

Noon Lunch Break

Friday Afternoon:

1:00 p.m. Birds of Chicago

JT Nero and Allison Russell will fire up the afternoon with a socially-conscious sound that’s been described as a mix of folk, mountain gospel, soul and rock, a “near perfect Americana.”

1:45 p.m. Afternoon Workshops (Choose one)

A. The Authentic Voice – Moderated by Dr. Cyndi Gilmer, Trent School of Nursing

This “lived experience” panel of individuals who have overcome homelessness, hunger, or addiction and now use those experiences to build better social responses, and help others to find healing.

B. Extending the Table – Moderated by Nicole Beatty, Community Builder

Canada is one of the world’s leading exporters of food—why then do we have hungry people in this country? This panel of big thinkers, hosted by Local Food for Local Good, and Cultivate Festival, will explore the possibilities for growing and sharing food in ways that are accessible, affordable and healthy for everyone.

2:45 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m. – Truth and Re-Imagination

A conversation between Ojibway playwright and author Drew Hayden Taylor; Mississauga artist and biologist Rick Beaver; Alderville First Nation Councillor Julie Bothwell; and Metis artist Mique Michelle, centred on visioning a way forward through story, art and Indigenous ways of knowing.

4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

Evening of Possibility 7:00-9:00 p.m., Victoria Hall

We present this inspiring lineup of musicians, poets, filmmakers and storytellers, each of whom is committed to creating a better way for our community:

David Newland: Host, Musician, Adventurer

Drew Hayden Taylor: Author, Playwright

Birds of Chicago: Americana Musicians

Mique Michelle: Graffiti Artist

Arlene Howells: Change Communicator

Jesse Thistle: Scholar and Survivor

Christian Harvey: Social Justice Leader

Megan Murphy: Filmmaker, Broadcaster

Ted Staunton: Children’s Author

Reception by Cultivate Festival of Food & Drink