Women Against Violence Empowering Survivors
Women Against Violence Empowering Survivors (WAVES) is a survivor’s advisory group that works towards WAWG priorities by:
- Increasing and ensuring a diverse range of survivor input in ways that are respectful and that avoid exploitation an re-victimization;
- Creating a transparent process and determine a mechanism for diverse survivor input; and
- Evaluating the process to ensure that survivor input informs the work of WAWG.
WAVES members are engaged in a diverse range of projects and activities, including:
- Presentations at events & service project panels
- Speaking to university and college classes
- Facilitation of support groups for women
- Outreach at community events
- Art Shows & Art projects
- Contribution to public awareness & education
- Recording of ‘Survivor Stories’
- Clothing and personal item drive and fundraisers
- and more…
WAVES members are releasing a series of recordings with their personal experiences and advice in the hopes of supporting other survivors of abuse and empowering change to end all violence against women.
This is Olga’s Story –
‘Olga’s Everyday Life’ –
A list of abusive behaviours
to watch out for
Advice from a survivor to listeners who may be in a similar situation
July 23rd, 2020
To the Ontario Court of Appeal,
The ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal in June established that, if an accused can show they were in a state of extreme intoxication they have a defense for violent crimes from sexual assault to murder.
This ruling during a pandemic, when victims of domestic violence, elder abuse and sexual assault are in isolation with their abusers, put many people at an elevated risk. This ruling is inappropriate especially during marches against police violence, abuse and discrimination.
It is illegal to drink and drive, be it a car, boat or any motorized vehicle. However, with this ruling the accused can now use intoxication as a defense when committing other crimes of violence and sexual assault.
#MeToo has raised awareness of the victims of sexual assault, date rape and has caused our culture to change. Laws have changed, such as banning the use of a women’s history in court to defend perpetrators, thanks to the many women’s organizations for their efforts in changing the judicial system and laws.
These strides to advance and protect our society will be for naught this ruling. Intoxication (alcohol or drug) should never be an allowable defense for any violent crime. Period.
The police and the judicial system are in place to protect society and communities. They exist to seek justice for those victimized and protect the innocent who are wrongly accused. This ruling goes against this ideal and it gives the perpetrators an excuse. This is not acceptable.
We are seeing the outcome of the abuse perpetrated on the citizens whom they are there to protect and serve. Do we now have to march en masse to make sure the courts protect the victims to the same extent they protect the accused?
Confidence in our police force, court system and laws by many survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault has been eroded. Betray a confidence and it is long and hard to win it back. We are hopeful that this decision will be reversed when presented to the Federal Court of Appeals.
Win our confidence back or at the very least do not damage it further.
Chair, Women’s Against Violence Empowering Survivors (WAVES)
WAWG’s Survivor’s Advisory Group