Remembering our Stolen Sisters
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!
"Changing Public Engagement"
Jennifer O'Keefe is working on a research project called - Changing Public Engagement From The Ground Up. She came to Second Story Women's Centre to interview Liz and Rhonda. Her interview explores at the challenges women face in rural communities.
Click HERE to read the interview transcript.
For more information you can go to their website, www.changingpublicengagement.com
Hope For Our Community
All of us at Second Story Women’s Centre (SSWC) are devastated by the horrific events in Nova Scotia on April 18/19 that left 22 innocent people dead. Our hearts go out to all of those affected and struggling to cope. We are angered by the continued increase in domestic and intimate partner violence we have seen since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the ensuing isolation. Our vision of ‘gender equity and safe healthy relationships on the South Shore’, has once again been tested by these tragedies. The problem however as we all know, is bigger than these isolated incidents, and in their wake we are left questioning: where are we failing as a community and a society?
We know that our communities and the individuals within them need more support. For over 35 years in Lunenburg and Queens Counties, SSWC has been supporting women, girls and gender-oppressed people as they navigate challenges in their lives. We offer trauma-informed support in safer spaces. Our work and recent events continue to highlight the need for interventions and support to begin earlier. We believe happy, supported, and mentally healthy children have better opportunities for resilience and to grow into kind, caring, contributing members of society.
We are concerned that our youth are being raised in a society that regularly dismisses violence, narcissism, sexism, racism, and stereotypical attitudes toward gender. These views may affect how we behave as individuals or groups of people and ultimately what we come to expect from ourselves and others. The murderous incidents that have taken place in our province over the last several weeks (1 domestic homicide in HRM and 22 in Colchester County) demonstrate once again what can happen when gendered violence goes unchecked and when we succumb to stereotypical notions of gender that society continues to teach and model.
What are we at Second Story Women’s Centre doing to combat these issues? We provide programming and support for youth. Our Girl Talk, Express Yourself and Girls’ Loft programs counter stereotypical narratives of what it means to identity as female. We support and administer the Healthy Relationships for Youth program in South Shore high schools. This peer-led, violence prevention program addresses underlying issues of sexism, racism, stereotypes, homophobia, power and violence. Just as social distancing measures of COVID-19 were implemented, we were on the cusp of implementing our first ever boys-only program. The goal of this camp was to counter narratives of what it means to identify as male, break down negative and harmful gender stereotypes, emphasize self-appreciation and healthy emotional expression, and encourage mental health support: it’s ok to ask for help when we are struggling.
A hope for our community is that we:
We are living in unprecedented times and have been given an opportunity to pause, step back and take a look at what influences our beliefs and actions. As a community we can change direction for the better.
Please feel free to reach out to us at Second Story Women’s Centre. Please check out our website for more information and to sign up for our newsletter. We are here for you and we continue to offer support virtually during this time that our office is closed to visitors.
Please contact us at:
E – info@SecondStory.ca P – 902-640-3044 FB - @secstory
Advocacy Specialized Therapists
A big part of what we do here at Second Story Women's Centre is advocacy. We are looking for your help...access to Sexual Violence Therapists is Missing and Needed in Lunenburg and Queens Counties! Sexualized violence is a grim reality for many Nova Scotians. People in Lunenburg and Queens deserve the support of Specialized Trauma Informed Therapeutic Counsellors. If you feel inspired to support our efforts to insist on government support on this issue; it is easy - drop by the centre and sign the back of an advocacy card that we will deliver to the Minister of Health and Wellness. For more information stop by or contact Rhonda at email@example.com