WAVAW – Rape Crisis Centre our September 12th meeting winner received a donation of $6,500 from 100WomenVan.
Irene Tsepnopoulos-Elhaimer, Executive Director of WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre, asked members to imagine the courage and bravery that women who access WAVAW’s services display when telling complete strangers about a sexual assault. She asked members to empathize with the women’s experiences. She then walked through a woman’s journey after she has called WAVAW.
– First, a woman is met at the Sexual Assault Service at Vancouver General Hospital by a Hospital Accompaniment Support Worker. There, she is able to have her immediate medical needs addressed.
– From there, she can decide whether she’d like to report the assault to the police or not. The choice to report is hers and hers alone. WAVAW provides her with accompaniment to the police and court, should she move forward with a legal process.
– Finally, the woman mentions interest in accessing counselling services at WAVAW. This is where WAVAW finds a roadblock in her journey. The waitlist to access counselling is currently 2 years along.
Despite strong and creative advocacy by women’s organizations, the provincial government has failed to increase funding for sexual assault services.
100WomanVan members were moved by Irene’s provocative presentation, the obvious need and WAVAW’s very compassionate and important work in the community. Our $6,500 donation will allow WAVAW to provide 130 hours of feminist counselling to survivors of sexual assault.
WAVAW works in the interests of women who have been victimized by sexual assault. They provide all women who have experienced any form of sexualized violence with support and healing, and engage with youth to develop leadership for prevention of future violence.