Incoming WAWG co-chair Jessica Bonilla-Damptey (Executive Director of SACHA) and WAWG coordinator Thea Symonds talked about WAWG’s new Sexual Assault Services in Hamilton video with on 900CHML’s ‘Good Morning Hamilton’ hosted by Rick Zamperin on August 11th, 2022.
Listen to the full recording HERE.
Why did WAWG create this video?
Anyone who is a survivor of sexual violence, an ally looking for information, or a helping professional, can benefit from the resources and services available in Hamilton highlighted in this video.
The Woman Abuse Working Group recently created a short video about sexual assault services in Hamilton. This systems navigator video is for survivors of sexual violence, allies looking for information, and helping professionals working with survivors and their families, to help connect everyone with resources and services available in Hamilton.
Hamilton is a diverse and unique community but like any other place in the world, sexual violence exists and affects everyone. In Hamilton there are sexual assault services that offer a variety of support for individuals who have experiences recent or historical sexual violence.
With this new video, the Woman Abuse Working Group highlights what services are available to survivors, how to access support, and options for reporting historical and current sexual violence.
How does this video help survivors seeking support?
This video helps survivors to know about the services in Hamilton and the surrounding areas and to see what services look like inside as well as individuals who actually provide the services. This video allows them to view the diversity of services and provides survivors with more choice. We want all survivors to know that they are believed and that there are services ready to help them.
We know that rape myths are often used in our society so at WAWG, SACHA, and WAWG members, we want survivors to know that they are believed, that rape culture is something we’re combating against through the work that we do. We’re advocating for a society that is based on consent, that is safe, and where survivors can come to social services and know that they’re not alone.
What people who are seeking help should know:
All survivors should know that services are available to them when they’re ready. This video is letting survivors know what their options are. WAWG is help to support you and you can come to us when you’re ready.
For anyone who is supporting a survivor – it is important to take the survivor’s lead. Sexual Assault cases are underreported – 6% or less. It is important to take the lead from the individual and what they want to do.
Women Against Violence Empowering Survivors – WAWG Survivor Advisory Group
WAWG has an advisory group of survivors of violence called WAVES – Women Against Violence Empowering Survivors. They are out in the community sharing their story, sharing the resources available, and supporting other survivors. WAVES and WAWG support survivors who have cases in court – survivors show up to show support for those individuals.
Quote from WAVES member:
“WAWG has given me the opportunity to have a voice in my community regarding gender based violence. I appreciate feeling supported in the recovery from my own experience and being able to interact with others who are like-minded and willing to promote advocacy and education. I find my strength in asserting my voice, even when it sometimes feels like we are sliding backwards in recognizing oppression. WAWG gives me hope that part of my city cares.” – Lisa, WAVES Member
Listen to the full recording HERE.
(The WAWG interview is at the beginning of the recording)