Survivors and Substance Group

16.02 - S&SU - poster - child careAre you a woman who is a survivor of sexual violence? Have you ever used alcohol or drugs to cope? You can attend any and all group sessions. No registration required.
When: Tuesdays from 3-5pm
Where: SACHA – 75 MacNab Street South, 3rd Floor, Hamilton ON
March 1st – Substance Use
March 8th – Sexual Violence and It’s Impact
March 15th – Dealing with Feelings
March 22nd – Asking for Help
March 29th – Anger
April 5th – Relationships
April 12th – Sex and Sexuality
Open group means that you don’t have to register to be a part of the group. You choose to come to dates when you are available or the topic speaks to you. We ask that you arrive on time as group begins at 3pm and we don’t allow late arrivals.
Questions call 905.526.2424 x3562 or 905.525.4573 x224
Child care available.
Co-presented by City of Hamilton’s Alcohol Drug and Gambling Services and SACHA.

IWD Concert and Sing-A-Long Artist Profile: Sarah Beatty


by Tara Bursey

Sarah Beatty is one impressive lady—she’s a musician and an environmental scientist! Sarah is a Hamilton- based artist who grew up with two hometowns and many addresses on both sides of the border. In 2011, she recorded the first tracks of what would become her debut solo album, Black Gramophone, released in May of 2012.

In just a few short months, the live-off-the floor recording garnered support from local and international press and radio, national audiences, and generated an invite to audition for the Mariposa Folk Festival and a Roots Recording of the Year nomination from the Hamilton Music Awards in 2012. On top of her many musical accomplishments, she is expecting to get her Ph.D. later this year.

Learn more about Sarah’s influences below, and come out and hear her in person at our IWD Concert and Sing-A-Long on March 5th from 3-5pm at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre.

Young women are rarely encouraged to pick up a guitar. How did you first start playing one? Who were the earliest women singers/songwriters to inspire you?

Internal and external barriers are huge factors that affect when a woman will pick up an instrument and/or use their voice to express themselves and their views. I don’t know what all the drivers are, but I really like seeing more and more young women writing songs and making music – women hold court in really important cultural ways. Continue reading

Voices of Women


iwd 2016The International Women’s Day Committee, coordinated by SACHA, invites all women participate in this FREE International Women’s Day Celebration.

Stand up and support actions to advance and recognize women in Hamilton and all over the world!

WHEN: Saturday, March 5 from 10:30am to 2pm
WHERE: Hamilton City Hall – 71 Main Street West, Hamilton ON

Rally, march, light lunch, and entertainment including Spirit Bear Drummers.

FREE and child-friendly.

Bring you drums, musical instruments, poems, music, and art.

For more information, please contact Sandra – 905.525.4573 or

Members of the IWC Committee include:
The AIDS Network
City of Hamilton Status of Women Committee
Good Shepherd
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
Neighbour to Neighbour Centre
Revolutionary Women’s Brigade
Woman Abuse Working Group
YWCA Hamilton

Selfies to Support Survivors


We learn the verdict of the Ghomeshi case on March 24. Let’s flood social media with love and support for survivors of sexual violence.

On March 24th, post a selfie or a photo of your group to show your support with the hashtag #IBelieveSurvivors.

selfies to support survivors square

Show survivors that they are strong and that they are loved. Let’s show the world that we don’t believe victim blaming and rape myths. Let’s show the world that we believe survivors.

Tag SACHA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Get Involved!

  • Take a pic and post it on March 24th with the hashtag #IBelieveSurvivors. Tag SACHA as well!
  • Invite your followers to the Facebook event –
  • Make ‘I Believe Survivors’ your profile pic.
  • Share this email with your networks.

i believe survivors square



 By Tara Bursey

Last year, the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre held a sing-a-long and concert in our backyard and main gallery featuring the Syracuse punk-folk band, The Malvinas. I have this awesome band to thank for introducing me to the glorious music of their namesake, Malvina Reynolds.

Who is Malvina?

Malvina Reynolds was born Malvina Milder in the year 1900 in San Francisco. She began singing and writing songs later in life, after acquiring a degree in music theory and meeting folk musicians (among them Pete Seeger and Earl Robinson) when she was in her late 40s. She went on to write several popular songs, including “Little Boxes,” recorded by Pete Seeger and others, “What Have They Done to the Rain,” recorded by The Searchers and Joan Baez (about nuclear fallout), “It Isn’t Nice” (a civil rights anthem), and many others. Malvina the magnificent also appeared a number of times on Sesame Street (as a character named Kate) and was a songwriter for the series in the 1970s. Continue reading

Who’s on Trial?: Cross Examination in Sexual Assault Cases


by Maggie Rahr

A debate about ethical cross examination in sexual assault cases is escalating in Canada’s legal circles, and on social media, as the trial against Jian Ghomeshi unfolds. In a commentary published in the Star, criminal lawyer, Breese Davies attempts to de-bunk what she calls a ‘pernicious myth’, that “as a matter of strategy, (the defence will) bully, abuse or attack complainants during cross-examination.”

The woefully named ‘whacking’ is a colloquial term used to describe what Davies maintains is a problem that rarely arises in the courtroom.

But many, following one of the most high profile trials in recent Canadian history, tweet by tweet, and through more traditional news media, will disagree with her.

“I’m absolutely demoralized.” says Lenore Lukasik-Foss, Chair of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres. Statistics are so low, when it comes to sexual assault victims reporting to police (even fewer see an actual courtroom) that it’s a rarity Lukasik-Foss and her colleagues have to shepherd a victim through public legal appearances. Watching the Ghomeshi trial unfold, she says, it’s not hard to understand why so few victims come forward. Continue reading

A Lot to Sing About


We’ve got a lot so celebrate, a lot to struggle against, and a lot to sing about!

We are proud to present a International Women’s Day Concert and Labour Song Sing-A-Long in Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre’s Main Gallery. We will be lead in song (some that we’ll recognize and some new) by some powerfully talented women.

Sarah Beatty (Hamilton)
Janice Jo Lee (Kitchener)
Piper Hayes (Toronto) 
Mimi Shaw (Hamilton) and more! 

Come out and celebrate IWD 2016’s theme, Pledge for Parity, while honouring the important contributions of women to social movements, labour and song!

WHERE: Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre, Main Gallery – 51 Stuart Street, Hamilton ON
COST: Free!
All genders and ages invited.

Presented by Workers Arts & Heritage Centre and SACHA.
Check out SACHA’s annual International Women’s Day event at City Hall earlier in the day.

Listen. Validate. Support. Love.



Listen to people who have lived through violence.

Validate people who have lived through violence.

Do not shame or blame people who have lived through violence.

Support not stigma for people who have lived through violence.

Love people who have lived through violence.

Thank you to Native Youth Sexual Health Network for making this awesome gif.

SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line is always available for survivors and their supporters – 905.525.4162.

Prove It.


To all everyone who is asking us on our Facebook feed and to our faces to prove that Jian Ghomeshi assaulted women:

We don’t have to, for one simple reason: We believe survivors.

Here’s the truth:

  • A not guilty verdict doesn’t mean that sexual assaults didn’t happen.
  • Survivors RARELY lie about being sexually assaulted.
  • Alcohol does not cause sexual assault.
  • Neither does clothing.

We believe survivors.
We believe women.
We believe men.
We believe trans folks, genderqueer folks, and non-binary folks.
We believe survivors who also do sex work.
We believe Indigenous folks.
We believe survivors who are newcomers and immigrants.
We believe survivors who live with a disAbility.
We believe grandparents.
We believe children. Continue reading