Challenge to Local Businesses: Join Pink Day 2016!

Pink-Day-T-Shirt-Option-BApril 13 is the second Pink Day 2016 in Manitoba. The Red Cross is hosting two days this year, the first of which was February 24.

Pink Day has become an annual event to raise awareness about standing up to bullying and supporting those who have been targeted by bullies. It began in Nova Scotia when students wore pink shirts in support of a classmate who had been bullied because he wore a pink shirt to school.

Bullying gets a lot of attention in schools with kids, but adults need to be a huge part of this conversation. Bullying can get very nasty among adults and can include criminal behaviour such as stalking, harassment, and sexual assault.

Research published in 2006 revealed that the most common forms of workplace bullying in Canada are verbal abuse, work being undermined, and belittlement. According to the Canada Safety Council, up to 37% of workers experience some form of bullying and the most likely targets are women in their 40s.

Bullying often leads those who are being targeted to seek other employment, along with struggling with anger, frustration, and fear at work.

Survivor’s Hope is challenging businesses to support Pink Day 2016 on April 13. Everyone is encouraged to wear pink to show their support. You can also register your business as a participant with the Red Cross. Each business can also take their participation further.

Review your workplace policies on harassment, talk about bullying in a staff meeting, and do what you can to ensure that all your employees and coworkers feel safe at work and feel safe to come forward if an issue needs to be addressed. Pink Day is a good annual reminder to not let bullying slide and to stand up against it in all forms, for all ages.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has created a short resource guide addressing workplace bullying which many employers may find helpful. The Red Cross also shares information on preventing violence, bullying, and abuse in the workplace.

You can share your pictures of pink workplaces on the Survivor’s Hope facebook page, www.facebook.com/survivorshope.

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Spring has Sprung with Volunteer Recruitment!

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A sure sign of spring has arrived. Volunteer recruitment season has begun!

The SARAH (Sexual Assault Recovery and Healing) Program has finalized training dates for April and May and we are now open to your applications to join our important and unique program.

Training sessions will takes place over four weekends:
April 16 & 17 (Saturday & Sunday in Pinawa)
April 24 (Sunday in Pinawa)
April 30 & May 1 (Saturday and Sunday in Pinawa)
May 14 (Saturday in Winnipeg)

For more information, please read our SARAH volunteer recruitment letter. Please feel free to share our Volunteer recruitment poster with anyone you know who may be interested in joining us.

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Sisters in Spirit

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Each year on October 4th, communities across Canada come together to honour the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. As we do so, we remember the lives of sisters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers tragically taken from us. We honour their lives and we offer support to families who have been tragically touched by the loss of a loved one to violence.

On Monday, October 5th at 12 pm Survivor’s Hope will be hosting a candlelight vigil and a moment of silence for all who want to honour our Stolen Sisters.

The vigil will take place at the Survivor’s Hope Drop-In office in the Winnipeg River Learning Centre, located at 3 Walnut Street in Powerview-Pine Falls.

If you are unable to join the vigil, you can light a virtual candle on the Native Women’s Association of Canada website. All are invited to light a candle, online or in person, as a beacon of hope and strength.

Join and share this event on facebook.

Sisters in Spirit poster PDF

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Annual General Meeting

Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre has been delivering programming in eastern Manitoba since 2003 to address the issues of sexual violence and relationship abuse.  The SARAH Program provides sexual assault crisis intervention services to victims reporting to local hospitals and RCMP detachments.  The SADI program delivers workshops to regional schools to provide youth with the skills needed to build healthy and respectful relationships.  We delivered more than 160 workshops this school year!  The Reaching Out Program delivers information to service providers and community members to increase awareness around sexual violence and relationship abuse.  Our new drop-in office in the Winnipeg River Learning Centre in Powerview-Pine Falls is open Monday afternoons to offer sexual assault crisis intervention support for victims and resources for community members.

Our Annual General Meeting will take place Thursday June 18, 7:00 p.m. in our office at Lewis Business Centre in Pinawa.   Enter the building through the SE Entrance and follow the signs to suite 10.  A meet and greet will take place from 6:30 to 7:00 with snacks and beverages.  Check out the informational display in the hallway and meet board members, volunteers, and staff. You are invited to come out to learn more about what we do, how we do it, and how you can get involved on our Board.  For more information contact director@survivors-hope.ca or 204-753-5353.

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Thank you Lac du Bonnet!

April 19-25 was National Victims of Crime Awareness week. In 2009, nearly 25% of Canadians reported being the victims of crime. Crime in some form or another is likely to impact every single Canadian at some point in our lives.

During Victims Week and Sexual Assault Awareness month, we want to draw attention to sexual violence as a criminal offence. It is not just an unfortunate by-product of relationships or gender – it is a crime. No one ever deserves to experience violence and it is not a part of life we need to accommodate, even though the rates of occurrence are high. We can all work toward a safer and healthier future.

Even town councils can play a part in standing up for victims and offering support. We want to send a big grateful shout-out to the town of Lac du Bonnet! On April 9, 2015, the town council passed resolution 64/15 in support of victims week. They took a stand to support victims because crime does not just affect one person – it impacts families and entire communities.

Thank you Lac du Bonnet for resolving “to remain committed to addressing and advancing victim issues”!!

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Workshop and Open House Planned to Honour Victims Week

vw-2015-engSince 2011, the province of Manitoba has recognized April as Sexual Assault Awareness month. Also in April is the National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, April 19-25.

Sexual violence impacts the majority of Canadians. Half of Canadian women are likely to experience an act of sexual violence in their lifetime. Sexual violence is not something inflicted on women alone – one in six men will also be victims of sexual violence.

During this month of awareness raising, Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre is hosting educational opportunities regarding the trauma that results from experiencing sexual assault and the realities of sexual exploitation in rural Manitoba.

On April 23, Survivor’s Hope will be hosting a full-day workshop for service providers in Powerview-Pine Falls. The workshop is titled Sexual Exploitation: Increasing our knowledge and capacity for action. Those interested in registering for the sexual exploitation workshop should contact stephanie@survivors-hope.ca.

A variety of speakers will discuss the consequences of sexual assault as a traumatic experience, the realities of sexual exploitation, and Manitoba’s strategy to address sexual exploitation.

Also on Thursday April 23, Survivor’s Hope will be hosting an open house at their new drop-in support office in the Winnipeg River Learning Centre in Powerview-Pine Falls. Everyone is welcome to stop by between 9 am – 4 pm. There will also be an open house at the Survivor’s Hope office in Pinawa in Lewis Business Centre Friday April 24, 9 am – 4 pm.

The events hosted during Victims Week are made possible in part by grant funding from the Federal Department of Justice and the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.

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Day of Pink: Bullying Intervention Saves Lives

Stephanie and her dog Maeby are wearing pink in support of the Red Cross Day of Pink

Stephanie and her dog Maeby are wearing pink in support of the Red Cross Day of Pink

On Wednesday, April 8 all Manitobans are encouraged to wear pink in support of the Red Cross Day of Pink.

Day of Pink is an anti-bullying event that was inspired by two Nova Scotia students who stood up against bullying back in 2007. The students asked all of their peers to wear pink to school after they heard a male classmate had been bullied for wearing a pink shirt.

“Bullying is nasty and can take an enormous toll on those targeted by bullies,” said Stephanie Klassen, Reaching Out Program Coordinator for Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre. “Bullying is a deliberate and repetitive pattern of over-powering someone physically or verbally. It can include any kind of mistreatment, including exclusion, theft, assault, sexual harassment, and online humiliation or blackmail.”

According to Manitoba’s Safe and Caring Schools website, those who are bullied often experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and even thoughts of suicide.

“Because bullying may be a life-threatening situation, children and adults all need to take a stand against bullying,” said Klassen.

Schools across the province increase their level of participation in Day of Pink each year. Students are engaged in putting up posters, wearing pink to school, and planning various awareness raising activities.

“Bullying is not just a kid’s issue. Bullying happens to kids and adults,” said Klassen. “Adults need to set a good example of respectful interactions everywhere we go, and responsible intervention when we see bullying take place.”

Wearing pink on April 8 is one way to symbolically stand up for respect and take a stand against bullying.

“We encourage everyone to participate in Day of Pink. You can get your place of work involved, your family, your friends, your pickleball buddies – everyone plays an important role in creating safe and respectful environments.”

More information on Red Cross Day of Pink can be found at www.redcross.ca.

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Volunteer Training: Survivor’s Hope Wants You!

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Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre is running training for new volunteers with our sexual assault crisis program this spring.

The SARAH program, (Sexual Assault Recovery and Healing) is a program that provides emotional support, hospital accompaniment, information and referrals, and options for survivors and their loved ones following sexual assault. This program operates in the RCMP detachments in Lac du Bonnet, Beausejour, Oakbank, and Powerview-Pine Falls, as well as the Pinawa, Beausejour and Powerview-Pine Falls hospitals.

Training starts the first weekend of May (May 2-3), continues May 23 & 24, and then again June 13th.  Trainees must attend all weekend training sessions.  Trainees must also attend one evening session May 6 in Pinawa or May 19 in Powerview-Pine Falls.  The first two training weekends are in Powerview-Pine Falls this year.   June 13 is in Winnipeg at Klinic.

Anyone interested in training can call Holly at 204-753-5353, email holly@survivors-hope.ca , stop in at our Pinawa office Monday to Thursday (although it is hit and miss to catch someone there) or stop in at our Powerview-Pine Falls office at the Winnipeg River Learning Centre Monday afternoons.  The application process involves filling out an application form, two interviews, two reference checks, and three records checks (Child Abuse, Adult Abuse, Criminal Record/Vulnerable Sector).  Successful applicants will be invited to attend training.

Please forward this call for volunteers on to your community contacts, co-workers, friends, and family members who may be interested in the training.  You could also print out this poster and put it up in your part of the region.

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Alzheimer’s Disease, Brain Health, and Women: Supper and Information Session

Brain Health supper and info session

Survivor’s Hope’s Reaching Out Program is partnering with the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council to bring one of the council’s many “Lunch and Learn” workshops to the northeast.

On January 15, 2015 at the Lac du Bonnet Community Centre, all men and women are invited for a complimentary light supper and a time of information sharing and learning. Doors open at 5:30 pm.

Jackie Dokken, the Interlake/Eastern regional coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba will present “Alzheimer’s Disease, Brain Health, and Women.” This presentation is focused on gaining an understanding of Alzheimer’s and its impact on the person and their family. Dokken will explain why more women are affected and how women can be empowered to minimize their risks.

Those interested in attending can RSVP by calling 1-800-263-0234 or emailing msw@gov.mb.ca.

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Preventing More Than Murder-Suicide: Early Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, 2014 ended with some brutal cases of domestic violence.  In Edmonton, a woman and seven of her family members and friends were killed by her ex-husband before he shot himself. In Fort Worth, Texas, a woman and her two daughters were killed by her ex-boyfriend who then killed himself. In BC, spousal homicide was at a five-year high in 2014.

Edmonton Police Chief, Rod Knecht, told reporters that the case in his city was an incident of “domestic violence gone awry.” Let’s be clear – there are zero cases of domestic violence that “go well”, so there cannot be cases that go “awry”. Every single incident of domestic violence is a relationship gone awry, a partner gone awry.

Domestic violence happens in homes across Canada every single day. At any given time, there are nearly 10,000 women and children in emergency shelters across the country. It happens an awful lot, but this is no excuse for us to start thinking “mild domestic violence” is acceptable.

One news report listed some warning signs of a potential murder-suicide – “…obsessive behaviour, depression in the killer, and an escalation of violence prior to the murder.” All of these “warning signs” are more than just red flags – they clearly indicate a situation that needs to be addressed. This is like saying a house engulfed in flames is at risk of burning down!

Long before we check for the warning signs of mass murder and suicide, there are so many other concerns that ought to be addressed. Depression and violent behaviour should never go unchecked. Those are not signs of a problem; those are large problems in and of themselves!

Abusive relationships are about an imbalance of power and one partner controlling the other. The partner that uses abusive behaviour is solely responsible for their behaviour and the victimized partner does not deserve to be treated poorly.

In SADI workshops with grade 12 students, we discuss these warning signs that someone may use abusive behaviour:

  • constantly checking up on partner
  • telling the partner what to wear, what to do, who to spend time with
  • excessively jealous, accuses the other of cheating or flirting
  • showing up unannounced
  • humiliating the person
  • teasing
  • lack of communication
  • inability to listen
  • no trust
  • possessiveness
  • no balance or equality
  • lack of respect
  • put downs
  • big mood swings
  • makes you feel nervous (like you are walking on eggshells)
  • criticizes you
  • threatens to hurt you

All of these warning signs indicate that one partner is not concerned about building a healthy or respectful relationship. If you see your partner, someone else’s partner, or even if you see yourself engaging in some of these behaviours, it is a good idea to re-evaluate the relationship. Everybody deserves to be in a healthy and respectful relationship – EVERYBODY! We are setting the bar way too low if we only try to prevent murder-suicide. We can prevent all forms of domestic violence.

There is a toll-free number in Manitoba that you can call 24/7 to talk to a trained counsellor about any relationship that you suspect is abusive 1-888-977-0007. Emergency shelters are always available to anyone who feels unsafe in their relationship, long before you are worried about an impending murder-suicide.

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