History

The Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association (AWRC&SASA) is a feminist, community-based women’s organization.  The Women’s Centre grew out of the work of women in the community who came together to address issues facing women and adolescent girls.  We wanted to provide a woman-positive space for women to come together and work for social change and we wanted to provide services and programs to support women in making positive changes in their lives.

We have been providing information, support services and programs to women and girls since 1983. It is through our multi-issue, social change and service provision mandate that we address, in an integrated way, the broad and often complex range of issues facing women and their children.

Over the years we have worked with and within our community to establish well-respected programs and services.

 

Highlights along the AWRC&SASA Timeline

In partnership with Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, St. Francis Xavier University, and the Strait Regional School Board, we began a three year project, Advancing Women’s Equality: Partnering to Transform the Context and End Sexualized Violence. Through advocating for more effective policies and systems, the goal is to transform the context in which sexualized violence is perpetrated. The project uses a community-based, survivor-centred approach in analyzing current practices, assessing community needs, and advocating for changes.​

1985-1986
  • Helped organize the Rural Women Together weekend conference at StFXU.
1986-1987
  •  Organized the first annual Coady Women’s Picnic.
1987- 1988
  •  Collaborated with the Naomi Society to establish the Antigonish & Area Inter-agency Committee on Family Violence.
1989-1990
  •  Organized Antigonish’s first Take Back the Night walk.
1990-1991
  • Established the Adolescent Health Project and produced A Community Based Needs Assessment on Adolescent Health in Antigonish.
  • Created the Single Moms’ Support Group.
1991-1992
  • Completed community-based research on the need for affordable housing and produced the No Place for Home report.
  • Offered Therapy Group for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse.
  • Provided community workshops on developing Workplace Sexual Harassment Policies.
1992-1993
  • Organized and co-sponsored Poverty Awareness Day.
  • Organized Society for Affordable Community Housing in Antigonish
 1993-1994
  •  Provided numerous presentations on sexualized violence.
 1994-1995
  • Initiated Women and Community Economic Development project.
  • Began community-based research on sexual violence response through our two year Sexual Assault Project.  We produced Beginning with Us: A Community Response to Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse in Antigonish, and Working together to Address Sexual Violence in Antigonish: A Community Model.
  • Established Antigonish Sexual Assault Crisis Line and trained volunteers.
 1995-1996
  • Established the People Assessing Their Health (PATH) project which worked with 3 communities to create community health impact assessment tools.
  • Co-organized the Groundwork: Women in Community Development Conference. 
1996-1997 slakjfhlksdjfl
  •  Brought community together to establish a Youth Centre under ACT for Change.
  • Produced Cooking Over Time: A Collection of Recipes and Stories of Women from Antigonish Town and County.
 1997-1998
  •  Sponsored the Naming Our Reality: Women and Economic Change project.
  • Developed Teens Take Action program where we trained senior high school students to deliver a dating violence awareness workshop to grade 9 students.
  • Offered our Income Tax Preparation Program for Low-Income Women and their Families.
 1998-1999
  • Produced A Community Response to Women’s Poverty Report.
  • Established two groups for young women: Exploring Our Lives and Young Women: Lives on the Line.
 1999-2000
  • Offered Re-Entry Readiness Program for African Canadian Women on Social Assistance and Enhancing Women’s Employability: Re-Entry Program for Women on Social Assistance.
  • Participated as a research site in the Links Project, a national project coordinated by the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres.
 2000-2001
  • Initiated a peer sexual harassment awareness project, When Bullying Becomes Sexual Harassment, and produced resources for educators.
  • Established a Youth Social Justice Group.
  • Developed and offered On the Road to Employment, a workplace re-entry program for women.
  • Helped organize and participated in weekly World March of Women 2000 events from March 8, International Women’s Day to October 17, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
 2001-2002
  • Partnered with women’s centres in New Glasgow and Sydney on Social Assistance Reform in Nova Scotia: Is It Working for Women? project.
  • Established the Rural Youth Healthy Relationships Education Project where we provided a 12 session healthy relationships program for students in grades 7, 8, 9, and 11.  The program was the foundation for our Healthy Relationships for Youth Program.
  • Created the Inspire Program for grade 8 girls.
  • Offered the first Women’s Free Store.
 2002-2003
  • Continued to take the lead in on affordable housing; initiated Ways and Means: Antigonish Women Seek Strategies to Address Affordable Housing Need project.
  • Completed a participatory action research project, Assessing Youth Homelessness in Antigonish.
 2003-2004
  • Partnered with women’s centres in New Glasgow and Sydney on Follow-up to Social Assistance Reform: Making It Work for Women! 
 2004-2005
  • Partnered with women’s centres in New Glasgow and Sydney on Social Assistance Reform in Nova Scotia: Moving Forward a Woman Positive Public Policy Agenda project, with recommendations documented in two reports: Struggling to Survive: Women on Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA) in Nova Scotia Provide their Key Recommendations for Policy Reform and Survival Strategies:Women on Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA) in Nova Scotia Provide their Key Recommendations for Policy Reform.
 2005-2006
  • Established our  Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program,
  • Took lead role in creating Antigonish Sexual Assault Response Team,
  • Partnered with GASHA and a local physician to open Lindsay’s Health Centre for Women.
  • Partnered with the StFX Human Rights and Equity Office on the LGBT Community Safety Initiative where we worked with university and community organizations to hold Positive Space training.
  • Began Overcoming Resistance Project.
 2006-2007
  • Established rural outreach services through Justice Matters for Women: Rural Outreach in Guysborough and Antigonish Counties.
  • Established the Healthy Relationships for Youth Program, a 12 session, violence-prevention, skills building, youth facilitated program for grade 9 students.
  • Held Feminist Activism in Conservative Times conference.
 2007-2008
  •  Completed the Face to Face: Building intersectoral collaboration to improve policy responses to single mothers’ education and training needs project.
  • Brought community members together under the Housing Initiative for Youth in Antigonish to look for supportive housing for youth.
 2008-2009
  • In partnership with the Pictou County Women’s Centre and Every Woman’s Centre, we worked on a project, Violence against Women and Girls: A Rural Response. 
  • In partnership with StFX and the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, we organized The Hypersexualization of Girls and Women: Deepening Our Analysis and Understanding conference.
  • For the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty we held the Heat Poverty Awareness Event.  In follow-up to this event, we worked with community members to create the Antigonish Emergency Fuel Fund.
 2009-2010
  •  Organized a provincial forum, Girl Talk: responding to Violence against Women and Girls.
 2010-2011
  •  With the Sisters of St. Martha Social Justice Committee, we founded the Antigonish Poverty Reduction Coalition.
2011-2012
  • Implemented a two year Resisting Violence: Rural Women and Girls Take Action project.  We organized a workshop for service providers, Making the Connection: Hypersexualization and Violence against Women and Girls.
  • Developed our Healthy Transitions resource on sexual violence prevention and healthy relationships for grade 11 and 12 students transitioning out of high school.
  • Started a Money Matters: a Financial Literacy Program where we developed easy to use financial information resources.
  • Worked with the Antigonish Poverty Reduction Coalition to develop a 5 Year Action Plan for Poverty Reduction in Antigonish.
  • Acted as a home and sponsoring organization for the Antigonish Affordable Housing Initiative.
 2012-2013
  • The Resisting Violence Project produced a video documentary, My Community Wants to End Violence against Women.
  • In partnership with StFX we began work on violence against women through a two year project, Engaging Young People to Prevent Violence against Women at StFX.  The students team conducted Campus Safety Audits and focus groups on gender violence producing recommendations in reports for university administration.  A campus wide survey documented attitudes about sexual violence and incidences of violence against women.
 2013-2014
  •  The Healthy Relationships for Youth Program expanded from the 10 schools in the Strait Regional School Board to include 10 additional schools across the province.
  • The Engaging Young People to Prevent Violence against Women at StFX project brought in the Bringing in the Bystander program and trained campus and community members in positive bystander intervention.
 2014-2015
  •  In partnership with Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation we began work on sexual violence through a two year project, Responding to and Preventing Sexual Violence. The project focused on both the response to sexual violence and the prevention of it, based in a culturally relevant, revitalizing, and safe approach. Community recommendations were sought and  actions were implemented in the project, which include organizing initiatives on healing via circles and art workshops, building on the skills and knowledge of community members to strengthen the local capacity in supporting those who have experienced sexual violence, and providing opportunities for discussion and education for parents and youth on the issues of sexual violence (2014-2016).
  • AWRCSASA developed the Newcomer Support Program, providing support and programs for newcomers and immigrant women, on a four day per week basis both at the women’s centre and as outreach to the quad county region.
2016-2017

 

 

  • The Mi’kmaw Community Engagement Toolkit on Sexual Violence was created. It is a workbook to address sexual violence, created specifically for Mi’kmaq communities and community members, drawing from the many learnings of the Responding to and Preventing Sexual Violence Project in Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation.
2017-2018
  • In partnership with Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, St. Francis Xavier University, and the Strait Regional School Board, we began a three year project, Advancing Women’s Equality: Partnering to Transform the Context and End Sexualized Violence. Through advocating for more effective policies and systems, the goal is to transform the context in which sexualized violence is perpetrated. The project uses a community-based, survivor-centred
  • approach in analyzing current practices, assessing community needs, and advocating for changes (2017-2020).
  • From November 25 (International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to December 10 (Human Rights Day), we took part in an international movement; “16 Days of Activism” initiated by the United Nations. This online campaign was to further the “#MeToo” discussion, encouraging leaders in our community to speak out publicly against violence against women in the form of pledges of concrete action, to do more in the community to end sexualized violence, clearly stating “No More”. These comments and pledges were shared through our Facebook (see link highlighted) page daily and we encouraged all community members to take part in the discussion and action ending sexualized violence.
  • Our Executive Director Lucille Harper, attended the sixty-second annual Commission on the Status of Women- Empowering Rural Women and GirlS (CSW62(2018)) at the Women’s UN in New York City, March 12-16, 2018.

 

 

  • September 24, 2018
    • Creative Circle September 24, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Antigonish Women's Resource Centre, 219 Main St, Antigonish, NS B2G 2C1, Canada
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    October 1, 2018
    • Creative Circle October 1, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Antigonish Women's Resource Centre, 219 Main St, Antigonish, NS B2G 2C1, Canada
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    October 15, 2018
    • Creative Circle October 15, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Antigonish Women's Resource Centre, 219 Main St, Antigonish, NS B2G 2C1, Canada
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    October 22, 2018
    • Creative Circle October 22, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Antigonish Women's Resource Centre, 219 Main St, Antigonish, NS B2G 2C1, Canada
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    October 29, 2018
    • Creative Circle October 29, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Antigonish Women's Resource Centre, 219 Main St, Antigonish, NS B2G 2C1, Canada
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    November 5, 2018
    • Creative Circle November 5, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Antigonish Women's Resource Centre, 219 Main St, Antigonish, NS B2G 2C1, Canada
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    November 19, 2018
    • Creative Circle November 19, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Antigonish Women's Resource Centre, 219 Main St, Antigonish, NS B2G 2C1, Canada
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