Oakville gathering aimed at enhancing support systems for victims of crime


Published May 7, 2024 at 4:10 pm

Ontario, Oakville, Halton, women, support, violence, victim, resilience

Addressing the challenges that female survivors of sexual violence and crime in Oakville, Burlington and Halton face and enhancing support is crucial in their recovery.

Here’s your opportunity to join the Women’s Centre of Halton and advocate for, support and empower the community.

During this year’s Victim Week – scheduled for May 12 to 18 – the local women’s centre is hosting an “inspiring afternoon” of storytelling and resilience on May 16 at The Annex at the Meeting House in Oakville, from noon to 4 p.m.

“Join us for a pivotal gathering aimed at strengthening community ties and enhancing support systems for victims of crime,” said the local women’s centre.

The meeting will help educate those looking to help make a difference in the lives of those affected. It will help them gain a deeper understanding of the laws and services available to protect and assist victims of crime.

Those attending will also see first-hand how different organizations and community advocates join together to support victims. Learn how you can be part of these initiatives.

The personal stories and challenges faced by survivors will help inspire those to not only raise awareness, but also inspire collective action and support.

“This event serves as a platform to raise vital awareness about the protective laws, essential services, and comprehensive assistance available, while also addressing the challenges that survivors face daily,” added the women’s centre.

Several panelists will be on hand, including two survivors themselves who will share their own stories and offer powerful insights to help inspire others.

Some of the panelists include:

Erin Stewart

Sexual Violence Coordinator at Halton Victim Services Unit

Erin has worked in various roles in Halton Police’s Victim Services Unit since 2015, both as staff and as a volunteer. Erin worked as a Volunteer Crisis Responder supporting victims of crime and tragic circumstance for five years before being hired as a staff member with Victim Services Unit.

For the past four years, Erin has predominantly supported survivors of intimate partner violence but recently began a newly created position as the Sexual Violence Coordinator. In this role, Erin ensures survivors receives referrals to resources for support as well as facilitating review and understanding of the Sexual Assault Information Guide program.

Linda Rhodes

Charge Nurse of Nina’s Place

Linda Rhodes is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and the Charge Nurse of Nina’s Place, situated within Joseph Brant Hospital. With specialized training and expertise, she offers comprehensive care to survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

In her capacity as a SANE, Linda conducts forensic medical examinations, administers medical treatment, collects evidence, and provides essential emotional support to survivors. Her extensive training equips her to navigate these sensitive situations with empathy and professionalism, ensuring survivors receive the care and support they need during such difficult times.

Fiorella Kuczma

Board Vice Chair of Restorations

Fiorella is an outstanding survivor leader and advocate for victims of trafficking and exploitation and has openly shared her own story of internet child exploitation in order to help raise awareness surrounding the issues as well as to provide and increase support for victims and survivors.

She immigrated from Peru to Canada as a young child with her family and uses her lived experience, as well as the lived experiences of others, to develop programming to meet the needs of victims and survivors of crime.

To register for the gathering, see here.

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