Timmins and Area Women in Crisis (TAWC) is a non-profit organization which governs a sexual assault centre which is provincially funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General as well as H.E.R. Place Women’s Shelter which is provincially funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
We provide free, confidential and non-judgemental 24-Hr support to survivors of all types of abuse and violence. We advocate against violence in the community at large and promote prevention through community education.
Purpose and Principles
Our Aim:to assist survivors of sexual violence. To promote the establishment of social and political structures free of sexual violence and exploitation. As individuals, we recognize that our lived experiences vary based on our culture, our ethnicity, our language, our abilities, our education, our wealth and our gender. Each plays an important part in the ways on understanding our world. In order for the centre to be completely accessible to all women we have adopted the following set of feminist values to guide us in our work:
Be women centered. Timmins and Area Women in Crisis will be run by women for women. Be respectful of women’s diversity, recognize and challenge discrimination, exploitation and oppression, in ourselves and in society on the basis of age, color, race, language, class, gender, physical appearance, sexual orientation, religion, ability, etc. Be respectful of women and the choices they make. Promote change in all aspects of women’s lives-eg; sexual orientation, economic, political, personal and reproductive.
Enable ourselves and others to take charge of our lives through recognition of personal strengths. Challenge the social and the political context in which women and children are the targets of sexual violence. Promote accessibility of our services and facilities to all women.
Our space is wheelchair accessible.
Operate on the basis of cooperation and work towards women’s equality.
Recognize and promote leadership as the ability to motivate respect, initiate support, inform and empower. Conduct ourselves in a respectful and non-violent way. We will work in a way which attempts to make the centre a safe and secure place for all women.
We will work together for women’s substantive equality.
Timmins and Area Women in Crisis recognizes that any sexual act, without consent of all parties, is sexual assault.
Timmins and Area Women in Crisis recognizes that sexual assault is an act of aggression, violence and power over women, not an act of sexual passion.
Timmins and Area Women in Crisis recognizes that victims of sexual assault are not responsible for the assault.
Timmins and Area Women in Crisisrecognizes the need for women to be assertive, self-sufficient and self-caring.
Timmins and Area Women in Crisis recognizes that working collectively empowers women.
Timmins and Area Women in Crisis recognizes that limiting choices reduces our potential. We will support all women in their choices: Including, but not limited to; lifestyle, sexual orientation, political beliefs, reproductive choices and religious beliefs.
Basis of Unity
The Timmins and Area Women in Crisis believes that:
- Sexual violence against women and children is both a crime and a human rights violation.
- Sexual violence against women and children is power-based, gender-based, structurally supported and therefore political. Unity in this analysis will strengthen our organizations.
- All forms of oppression are acts of violence. Sexism is but one of the oppressions used to violate and control women and children.
- Sexual violence is a direct result of sexism in our society and is a tactic of control used to reinforce men’s dominance over women and children.
- There is a direct link between male violence and pornography which exploits, objectifies and degrades women and children.
- Sexual violence is experienced by all types of women; therefore our commitment to diversity must be reflected in our membership and in our work of the centre.
- Traditionally psychiatry and its institutions are sexist and are used as a means of social control to coerce women to adjust to and accept oppressive roles and to punish them if they don’t.
- A society that reinforces inequality between its members perpetuates sexual violence against women and children. We acknowledge that there is a fundamental power imbalance in this patriarchal society based on privilege and access to resources.
- It is essential and crucial to the vision, political analysis and direction of the Timmins and Area Women in Crisis, to recognize the historical contributions of Black women, First Nations women, women of Color, disabled women, lesbians and women whose first language and culture are not English, in the anti-sexual violence movement. Therefore, the voices of these women must be considered vital to the membership of this organization.
- Every woman has the right to choose and have control over her own body.
- This feminist political analysis of sexual violence is essential to our organization.