Home/SHE Magazine

Safe Passage: A Girl’s Journey Through Adolescence

2017-12-19T17:11:09+00:00March 22, 2016|Empowering girls, Gender-based violence, Sexual abuse, SHE Magazine|

Girl looking at cameraIn an office building not far from the bleak industrial wharves in the northern Ontario town of Thunder Bay, social worker Karen Slomke is clicking through a curious set of Powerpoint slides.

Her audience sees photos of zebras being chased by lions, cartoon illustrations of the human brain, and lots of flowcharts with coloured arrows. Though some of her slides are lighthearted, most are deadly serious. This presentation is designed to save lives.

Karen works for Children’s Centre Thunder Bay and her audience is primarily Aboriginal girls in their early teens. All have experienced physical or sexual abuse, or both. Karen recently worked with Sherry, a young teen who has been sexually assaulted four different times by four different adult men. The first assault happened when she was 12.

Day 4: Leave? Easier Said Than Done

2017-12-19T17:27:01+00:00November 28, 2015|Gender-based violence, Infographics, SHE Magazine|

Woman looking at cameraIt’s one thing to come to terms with being in an abusive relationship.

It’s another to find a safe way out of that relationship when you have five young children.

For Christina*, who shared her story with SHE magazine, it required a huge leap over a chasm of uncertainties. There were safety, financial, legal, and emotional issues to consider as she tried to get through each day.

How can I end our marriage? What if he comes after me? How will I support the children? What if they miss their dad?

Day 2: The High Cost of Sexual Violence

2017-12-19T17:27:28+00:00November 26, 2015|Gender-based violence, Infographics, Posters, Sexual abuse, SHE Magazine|

Woman looking awayWhen a woman is sexually assaulted, the impact on her life can last for years, and the trauma can affect her education, employment, and long-term well-being. Society pays, too. In Canada, the annual costs of sexual assault and related offences for the criminal justice system, social services, and employers add up to an estimated $200 million, according to the Department of Justice.

When you include the medical costs, lost productivity, and pain and suffering of victims, the cost skyrockets to $4.8 billion. The problem is huge. In a 2009 Statistics Canada survey, 472,000 people in Canada reported they had been sexually assaulted. Supports such as counselling and legal advice help survivors re-establish a sense of safety and control over their lives, and reduce the long-term collective costs.

Tips for Writing While Feminist

2017-12-19T17:28:33+00:00November 11, 2015|Gender-based violence, Guest bloggers, How to, SHE Magazine, Women in media|

Woman writing in notebookI am a confident writer, always have been. But I recently chanced on a column I’d written in 2004 by that hang-about village idiot, Bill O’Reilly, on Fox News, and my blood froze. That was the year I was first hit by online bursts of hate. I’d reached the 10-year point at which the wonderful U.S. journalist Michelle Goldberg has suggested that online feminist writers might well burn out. A decade of being called a “c—t” and an “ugly bitch”? It saps the soul.

But I keep writing about equal rights, and so do most feminist journalists. It’s worth doing, not only because it’s how we earn our pay, and not only for moral reasons. I’m thinking of our daughters, and granddaughters. Imagine the bleak future they’re going to have if we back down now. We’re headed into hard times, and they’ll be that much harder for women without power, without public voices.