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Supporting Survivors of Human Trafficking: SASC Thanks Seeds of Hope, Hoyes Michalos and Libro Credit Union
Our Centre's Anti-Human Trafficking Program provides wrap-around services to those experiencing sexual exploitation and those at risk within Waterloo Region. This Fall, a transformational partnership with Hoyes Michalos and Seeds of Hope supported our Anti-Human Trafficking Program, along with a wonderful grant from Libro Credit Union. Read on for details!
Hoyes Michalos House
In partnership with Seeds of Hope Foundation and Hoyes Michalos, SASC’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program is proud to announce the opening of a third-stage housing service.
For those who are unaware, a third stage housing service refers to safe and affordable transitional housing for survivors of sexual exploitation who are in a position to learn to live independently after having successfully exited from sexual exploitation and are no longer connected to their exploiters.
Hoyes Michalos House offers two survivors at a time an opportunity to work towards addressing their trauma and achieving long-term goals related to their education and employment. Although Hoyes Michalos House is just one solution to the larger issue of affordable housing in our Region, here is what survivors had to say:
"It’s nice having a place where I can feel safe and comfortable.”
“This housing program has been the fresh start that my daughter needed. It has given her confidence, security, and a safe place where she can continue to heal and grow.
I am beyond grateful that she was chosen for this program. It has taken away a lot of my stress and worry. It feels like a weight has been lifted because I know she will be comfortable and safe as she begins her journey without me.
I think this program is invaluable and needed more than ever. There are so many individuals who would benefit and I believe it could be life-changing.
I really can't thank everyone enough for this much-needed support!”
- Parent of a Survivor
Libro Credit Union Annual Grant
Through its annual grant program, Libro Credit Union funds initiatives that help address local priorities aligned with their four pillars, including:
This fund will support survivors of human trafficking and/or sexual exploitation regarding housing prosperity and stabilization. The flexibility of this fund will provide the ability to meet the differing needs of each person and enable them to obtain and maintain safer housing, thus increasing their independence in the long term.
The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC) is teaming up with local post-secondary institutions Conestoga College, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University to address sexual violence on campus and in the community in the coming weeks with a new campaign: #Purple4Prevention.
#Purple4Prevention invites students, staff, faculty and the community to take a stance against sexual and gender-based violence and show solidarity by wearing newly designed t-shirts, taking a picture wearing the shirt, and posting it online with awareness and pro-consent messaging.
In addition, campus and community members are encouraged to order a purple t-shirt design of their choice and wear it on November 25, 2021 - the day beginning the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global initiative supported by the UN.
Wearing these t-shirts shows how many in our communities stand in solidarity on an issue that often feels very solitary and isolating. Wearing these shirts and sharing messages online also creates an opportunity for discussion and learning about our role in creating safer campuses and communities.
"We would like to see our post-secondary campuses and local community participate in our t-shirt campaign, but we also hope #Purple4Prevention goes deeper to start a conversation about the role we all play in ending sexual and gender-based violence. By showing survivors we believe them - and questioning and speaking out against harmful behaviour – we change attitudes and make our schools, workplaces and homes a safer place to be", said Jessica St. Peter, Manager of Public Education at SASC.
To participate in #Purple4Prevention, you can order a t-shirt here: kitchenerscreenprint.com. The order deadline is Wednesday, November 17, 2021. Students, staff and faculty from each institution can pick up their t-shirts at designated locations on campus on Thursday, November 25, 2021. In addition, community members can pick up their t-shirts from Kitchener Screen Printing in Kitchener.
More about this collaboration:
The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC) has been supporting survivors and working toward sexual violence prevention in Waterloo Region since 1989. Conestoga's Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Prevention & Response Office, the University of Waterloo's Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Office, and
Wilfrid Laurier University's Gendered and Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Office collaborates with SASC to provide support services and violence prevention education on campus.
Jessica St. Peter, Manager of Public Education at SASC, says, "The collaboration with, and financial support of, our post-secondary partners shows such great value. Their support ensures that our Public Education Program has the resources to continually support local campuses and community in working towards a world free of sexual violence and oppression."
More About the 16 Days of Activism
Started in 1991 by the Centre for Women's Global Leadership, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence begins on November 25 with the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on International Human Rights Day on December 10.
Significantly for Canadians, the 16 Days of Activism includes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and Girls on December 6. The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was established in 1991, marking the day in 1989 when 14 young women were murdered at L'Ecloe Polytechnique de Montreal because they were women and feminists.
Many anti-gender-based violence advocates and Indigenous advocates also honour the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People during 16 Days.
The Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey, conducted in 2018 with post-secondary students in Ontario, shows that:
For questions or more info about this campaign, please contact:
Jessica St. Peter, Manager of Public Education
Phone: 519-571-0121 ext. 103
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