Second Story Women's Centre believes survivors and is a safe space for women and gender-oppressed people who have experienced sexual assault. We want survivors to know: what happened to you was not your fault and we stand with you.
The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness month is to create awareness around the prevalence of sexual assault and what we can do to end it. Throughout the month of April, we will be sharing resources and statistics here on our blog and on our social media accounts, as well as attempting to give survivors their voices back where we can, in order to allow their experiences to be heard and better understood.
A great resource is the We Believe You: A Colouring Book for Survivors and Supporters from BreaktheSilence NS. There is also a colouring book for Mi'kmaq SA Survivors and their supporters called 'Healing with the Seven Sacred Teachings.' Download and print them at the links, or come into the Centre and grab a free printed copy for yourself or the Sexual Assault Survivor in your life. We would LOVE to see some of your finished colouring masterpieces, please feel free to bring them into the Centre in April to be added to our display at the Centre!
While you're here, be sure to grab a free Sexual Assault Awareness Month pin to show your support for survivors! Thanks to the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women for providing them.
Did you know that 2021 is the 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness month? For a quick look back at the history of #SAAM, click here!
The Halifax YWCA has established an interest-free loan program for female-identifying people who are leaving or have recently left domestic violence situations in Nova Scotia.
Up to $500 is available per successful applicant, and the YWCA will work with the individual to come up with a flexible and affordable repayment schedule.
The funds can be used for housing-related costs like damage deposits, rent or utility payments/arrears, moving or storage costs and phone or internet bills. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, have a source of income (income assistance or other benefits are accepted) and a bank account (or be willing to open one), and if they live outside the HRM, a letter of referral from a local support organization (such as Second Story Women's Centre).
For more information about the December 6th Fund, or to begin the application process, please contact the Second Story Women's Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902-640-3044.
Second Story Women's Centre is one of 19 organizations that have received funding from the CUA Community Investment Grant Program!
SSWC is pleased to announce that we will be receiving $1500 in funding that will support the purchase of shelving to make accessing our free menstrual products and basic toiletries an easier and more welcoming experience. This will also give SSWC more storage space for our donated toiletry and menstrual supplies, which will allow us to accept and store larger quantities of donations. We're excited to revamp this system, so watch this space for pictures of our new and improved set-up when everything is in place!
In the meantime, check out the list of menstrual products and toiletries that we are looking for donations of! And a big thank you to South Shore Sexual Health for their recent donation of re-usable pads and menstrual cups, which gives us some environmentally friendlier options to offer.
Due to the pandemic, we won’t be able to physically gather to celebrate International Women's Day this year, but we can still connect virtually!
The theme for IWD2021 is #ChooseToChallenge and the idea is to pick something to challenge in our daily lives going forward that will help advance the fight for equality for women and gender-oppressed people. You can #ChooseToChallenge anything, but some examples are:
“I will celebrate women’s achievements”
“I will forge a gender equal world”
“I will maintain a gender equal mindset”
"I will call out misogyny wherever I encounter it"
"I will listen to and believe women"
"I will hold myself and my peers accountable for our words and behaviour towards women"
We want to see what you’re choosing to challenge for #IWD2021! Here’s how to show us:
Download and print SSWC's #ChooseToChallenge sheet, or take a blank piece of paper and write down how or what you will do to #ChooseToChallenge gender inequality in 2021 and beyond. Then take a picture of yourself holding your sign with your hand up, and post it to your social media. Be sure to tag us or send it to us at email@example.com so we can see you and share your #ChooseToChallenge with everyone!
Do We Still Need International Women's Day?
While you're thinking about what you will #ChooseToChallenge for #IWD2021, take a look at this article from our friends at Women's Centres Connect, with some eye opening stats about why we still need International Women's Day.
Have a look at some of the amazing #ChooseToChallenge pictures that have been sent in
Second Story Women’s Centre is pleased to receive a $20,000 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant to support survivors of human trafficking and sexual assault.
Second Story Women’s Centre works to enhance women’s lives by providing free support services and education designed to promote personal growth, community awareness and social change in Lunenburg and Queens Counties.
Funding from Bell Let’s Talk will support an outreach coordinator who will work collaboratively with the other coordinators to build a strong trauma-informed support system for 60 survivors of human trafficking and sexual assault. Without appropriate support, women and other survivors are more likely to suffer from a range of mental health challenges including complex trauma, PTSD, a propensity for addiction, suicide ideation, and isolation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the predominance of gender-based violence in our communities and the challenges to accessing support,” said Rhonda Lemire, Executive Director of Second Story Women’s Centre. “With the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant we can help mitigate further long term risk to victims of gender-based violence by offering virtual and distanced in-person support.”
“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to help Second Story Women’s Centre provide support for survivors of human trafficking and sexual assault,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund supports a diverse range of community-based organizations throughout the country, like Second Story Women’s Centre, that are taking action to improve access to mental health care and working to make a positive difference through evidence-based programs that meet the needs of their communities.”
Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Here is our first raffle item of our 6-month weekly raffle. Please be patient with us as we work out the finer details over the first few weeks. Your $5 raffle ticket can be purchased in person or over the phone at Second Story Women’s Centre during opening hours. (more locations coming) For more information or to sign up for weekly reminders go to secondstory.ca/raffle
The buoy was donated by Mom’s Buy & Sell in Lunenburg. Frans Aeyelts is the artist who sanded back the old layers of paint and created this beautiful work of art. He describes it by saying, "The four images are original watercolour paintings depicting iconic N.S. scenes, the Bluenose on the high seas, a typical N.S. lighthouse, a Cape Breton Island piper and a coastal harbour. The bright colours reflect the province's varied landscape and inspired me to paint these scenes. Tourists come from far and wide to enjoy our beautiful province."
For Full Newsletter Click HERE.
We Are Still Here
Yes it's true! All of us at Second Story Women's Centre are still around working hard from home and sometimes at the office. We are making plans for re-opening that we hope to be able to share in the next couple weeks. Things will absolutely look and feel different when you come to the Centre, however, we are still here to provide the best support and services we are able to during this strange and difficult time. Like many of you, we are looking forward to reconnecting away from the virtual format. Virtual options will still be available to people when and as needed. Stay tuned to hear about our plans.
For Full Newsletter Click HERE.
Current COVID Feeling
We are still very much in the middle of this COVID journey and for many it has been tiring. We have all been experiencing many different thoughts, feelings, and opinions throughout the past four months. This pandemic has been easier to navigate for some than others. We continue to receive conflicting messages of what is safe and what is not. It can be overwhelming to say the least. Whatever you are feeling at this time please honour and be okay with those feelings; anger, gratitude, anxiety, happiness, frustration, and more. Please be kind to one another, support one another, and respect the choices each of us make while navigating this strange time. We are in this together and we can support one another as friends, family, neighbours, and a community. Most of all, be kind and gentle with yourself.
For full newsletter click HERE.
2020-2021 Board Of Directors
At SSWC's Annual General Meeting, the following Board Directors were elected: Charlene Flint; Chair, Christine Scott; Vice-Chair, Janice Bower; Finance Officer, Ruth Wilkins; Recording Officer, Jackie MacDonald, Andrea Hancock, Linda Wentzel, Becky Nodding, Helah Cooper, Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb, and Colleen O’Neill. The Board of Directors looks forward to working with staff and volunteers in the upcoming fiscal year and supporting the organization in their governance. If you would like to contact any member, please send an email to Exec@SecondStory.ca
For full newsletter click HERE.
We recently said good-bye to our Program Support Coordinator, Aliyyah Fazil, who has moved to Toronto with her partner where they will be closer to family when their new baby arrives. We are over the moon with excitement for Aliyyah and Bill as they become parents. Aliyyah has been a huge asset to our organization supporting a number of activities including program development, grant writing, front desk, youth programming, and the list goes on. A few words our team would use to describe her are; amazing, adaptable, gentle, strong, kind, and an advocate. We are lucky to have a strong team at Second Story Women's Centre and Aliyyah was a big part of it, she will be greatly missed.