At Surrey Women’s Centre we are excited to see signs of progress for the LGBT community in Surrey this week. Not only did the gay-straight alliance at Guildford Park Secondary host Surrey’s first ever Pride Prom on Monday, but this weekend the City will also be hosting Surrey’s first Pride Parade.
As Surrey Women’s Centre gives a #ShoutOut4Survivors, we would also like to welcome Dr. Santa Ono to his new role as UBC President. We are hopeful that Dr. Ono will enable UBC to address its history of failing to adequately respond to and support survivors of sexual assault.
It’s 3:00am on any given night of the week and the phone rings - again. The volume is turned up to a deafening level. I leap out of bed.
“We have a woman here that needs you.”
I arrive and am greeted by two sets of eyes – she’s brought a loved one with her. Good, I think. She hasn’t been sitting here alone.
I can’t read what she’s feeling in that first look. Shock, trauma, and confusion look different on everyone. But that other set of eyes always meets me with a familiar pleading stare that’s saying, What do I do? How do I help her?
We at Surrey Women’s Centre would like to acknowledge the victims of the shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando over the weekend. Surrey Women’s Centre stands in solidarity with LGBT people, and those of us who count ourselves among them grieve for our community.
Crimes that target marginalized sexualities and races are interconnected with gender-based violence. This shooting took place at a gay nightclub on Latinx night with trans women performing. Fifty people are dead. Fifty-three others are hospitalized.
“Sexual violence is common. Unfortunately, so is staying silent about it. Our silence makes it easier for those who wish to harm us. We don’t share our stories, we don’t think anyone would care much if we did, and then we live with the warped impression that we are alone in our fear and shame.” –Christy Clark
The words we use to talk about rape matter. Words like “non-consensual sex” and “sex crime” for rape serve to distance us from the violent reality suggested by the word “rape.”