Hamilton Reads to End Sexual Violence


This year’s Hamilton Reads (#HPLreads) book is Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People.

SACHA has partnered with the Hamilton Public Library to offer workshops and event in September and October!

You don’t have to have read Zoe’s books to be able to attend the events.

Thursday, September 7th at 4pm – Zine Making
Central Library – 2nd Floor Program Room

Create a “Messages of Support for Survivors”-themed collaborative zine using varied and art-making techniques in this two-hour workshop. No prior experience needed. Supplies provided. Drop in. All genders/ages welcome.

Sunday, September 10th at 2pm – Telling Our Stories: Immigrant Women’s Resilience
Central Library

A unique graphic novel written by immigrant women to support immigrant women working to end sexual violence. Created with help from Centre sante communautaire, Mouvement ontarien des femmes immigrantes francophones, and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.

Take Back the Night Sign Making Parties!

Got an awesome idea for a sign for this year’s Take Back the Night? Just want to play with markers and bristol board? C’mon over to Hamilton Public Library’s Pre-TBTN Sign Making Party!

HPL will supply bristol board, markers, and sign making supplies but if you have any special art supplies you would like to bring you are more than welcome.

Folks of all genders welcome to this free event.


Central Library – September 14th and 21st from 4-5pm
Red Hill Library – Tuesday, September 26th at 6pm
Saltflleet Library – Wednesday, September 27 at 6pm

Tuesday, October 3rd  – Safe Partying
Central Library at 3pm
Waterdown Branch at 7pm

Half of sexual assaults in Canada involve alcohol. This interactive session will give participants harm-reducing tools for ending alcohol facilitated sexual assault and online sexual violence.

Wednesday, October 4th – How to be an Ally to Survivors
Ancaster Branch at 2:30pm
Barton Street Branch at 7pm

If a coworker, family member or friend told you they had been assaulted, would you know how to respond? This interactive session will get participants thinking through the best ways of supporting people we love who have experienced sexual abuse.

For the Ancaster workshop please register ahead of time by calling – 905-648-6911.

Tuesday, October 17th at 6pm – Decolonizing Sexual Violence
Central Library

Join us for a panel conversation and learn from powerful Indigenous activists talking about their work ending sexual violence.

Wednesday, October 18th at 6pm – Sexual Violence: Beyond the Rainbow
Central Library

Learn realities of sexual violence for LGBQT2S folks and tactics for disrupting intersecting opressions contributing to violence: homophobia, transphobia, sexism and so much more.

Bystander Intervention Skills


You can interrupt sketchy behaviour at a bar, concert, or a party to prevent
sexual violence.

These skills are new for lots of folks! Just like first aid, these strategies require learning, relearning, and practice.

SACHA has got your back! If you see something sketchy and you unsure how to take action, you can call SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line to chat about ideas and options – 905.525.4162.

The number one action you can take RIGHT NOW is:

Bystander Intervention Skills


Don’t go it alone. Gather your peeps. Who is near that can help?A friend? Security staff? Even if it’s just to validate that the behaviour is not OK.

  • “I think she needs our help, but I don’t know what to do. Have any ideas?”
  • “Will you watch while I go chat with them?”


Approach either the person being targeted or the person doing the harassing and be direct.

  • “Are you OK?”
  • “Can I help you?”
  • “That’s not OK.”
  • “You need to stop.”


Think of a way to distract the folks involved in the situation: either the person being targeted or the person doing the harassing.

  • “Can you take a pic of my friends and I?”
  • “What time is it?”
  • “Where’s the washrooms?”
  • “That’s a FAB outfit! Where did you get it?”
  • “My friend’s gone missing. Can you help me find them?”


Make a record or keep your eye on the situation in case it escalates.

Bystander Intervention by SACHA


Can’t Talk? Type


Sometimes we can’t form the words aloud. That’s ok.

Now that’s SACHA’s support is online, survivors and their allies can get text and online chat supportive listening.


Currently we’re online:

  • Mondays from 6pm-12am
  • Fridays from 9pm-2am

To connect with a trained volunteer either text 647.977.5908 or visit sacha.ca to start chatting online. Continue reading

Getting Ready for Welcome Week


SACHA and the Equity Inclusion Office are full into training volunteers and staff to get ready for Welcome Week at McMaster University.

In April, we led an hour long workshop on taking action to end rape culture. Check our highlights from our presentation two years ago. Yesterday, we completed seven of the twenty workshops that we are facilitating this week. We focused on McMaster’s Sexual Violence Response Protocol. You can read the protocol here and take a peek at highlights from the presentation here.

Today we worked with the 57 Maroons, that represent McMaster’s Students Union.

We led a short 90 minute intro to preventing sexual violence at mass gatherings with Bystander Intervention techniques.

SACHA Rack Card 2016Last year was the first time they got bystander training and the shift away from worries and fears to folks sharing strategies that they know have worked was measurable.

These are strategies that we need to learn, relearn, and practice.

How are you – as a participant or as an organizer – working to end sexual violence at mass gatherings?

If you see something sketchy happening at the bar, concert, or festival, SACHA is here to chat about ideas on how to help 24 hours a day – 905.525.4162.

We have some follow up links for today’s participants:

We’ve gotta take a nap because we’ve got twelve more presentations this week!


TBTN Awards


Who will take home the high fives this year at Take Back the Night? We have awards for Best Sign, Most Inclusive Display, and Most Spirit.

Thank you to United Trophy for donating this year’s awards!


 ‘Until all of us have made it none of us have made it.’ – Rosemary Brown

Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA, is a powerful opportunity for survivors and their supporters to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against violence.
TBTN centers the experiences of women and gender non-conforming folks. We invite men to cheer on the march from Gore Park.
When: Thursday, September 28th, 2017
  • 6:00pm – We Gather
  • 7:00pm – We Rally
  • 7:30pm – We March
Where: Hamilton City Hall – 71 Main Street, Hamilton ON
More info:

We will have both an HSR and a DARTS buses following the march for folks who are not able to march.

If you are not able to march the entire route there is a short cut back to City Hall at Summers Lane near the Hamilton Convention Centre. There will be a TBTN marshal waiting there to walk with folks back to City Hall.

Have worries about the event? Read more about You Can March With Us and Reasons Not To Come to TBTN.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #TBTN2017.

For more information or to request ASL interpretation, contact SACHA:


We are extremely grateful to all the folks that make Take Back the Night happen in Hamilton, especially Public Service Alliance of Canada WAWGClick here to help make TBTN thrive and to help SACHA support survivors and end sexual violence.

Mohawk College journalism students Jennifer and Liz made this video about TBTN 2015:

Student Placements at SACHA


Jiaqing Wilson-Yang has been working at SACHA since January as a student in SACHA’s Counselling and Advocacy program. We asked her to write about her experiences and what other placement students at SACHA might expect.  

SACHA is always welcoming applications for longer term (6 months or more) placement students. If you’re interested or have questions please contact Elizabeth.

Hi there, my name is Jiaqing Wilson-Yang, and I have just completed my BSW Student Placement at SACHA, and I loved it. It was a huge learning experience and being here has greatly increased my skills as a Social Worker.

Some things to know about SACHA  — It’s a modified collective. That means, that decisions are made by the staff as a group. No staff member has greater authority over another staff member. Which means you can not only ask questions about why a decision is being made, but you can be a part of making the decision. For those of us looking for organizations that embed anti racist/anti oppressive practices into their structure and work, SACHA is a great example.

In the collective structure, the organization is build with conversation and critical thinking in mind. There is room for change and conflicting opinion. For me, this has translated into a much more respectful and thoughtful work place. There is consideration of the limits of workers in terms of caseload and workload. When I was determining the caseload that I would carry as a student, I was repeatedly asked what I thought I could handle, and encouraged to revisit that as time passed. Which leads me to my next point: a SACHA, as a student, you carry a caseload. Continue reading

SACHA Support Line Volunteers Needed


SACHA’s looking for awesome gender non-conforming folks and women who would like to help survivors of sexual violence.

You get an amazing 16 week training and answer the line from your home.

“I love SACHA because it allows me to connect with a wonderful feminist community.” – Current SACHA volunteer

Training starts in September. It’s good idea to get in contact with Miriam at the beginning of Augustto get the process started.

As a part of SACHA’s work to end racism and other oppressions, we especially encourage folks who identify as:

  • genderqueer and/or gender non-conforming,
  • who are Indigenous,
  • immigrant,
  • refugee,
  • lesbian,
  • bisexual,
  • two spirited,
  • queer,
  • racialized,
  • and/or who live with disAbilities,
  • and/or who experience any other oppressions to apply.

Have questions?

Don’t talk yourself out of volunteering! Lots of current volunteers had concerns when they started.

This incredible PDF can answer lots of your questions.

Contact Miriam, SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line Coordinator, for more information -clvol@sacha.ca or 905.525.4573 x222.