Dear Friends of CASAC,

 

On behalf of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, I write to invite you to participate in a day of bilingual consideration of our future work against violence against women.  In Vancouver, April 27 2005 we will gather at the Simon Fraser University Wosk Center in feminist pan-Canadian dialogue.  We expect to build on the results of our five years of research as revealed in Canada’s Promises to Keep: The Charter and Violence Against Women. 

 

We already have commitments from more than thirty centres across the country to send delegates.  As part of our CASAC plan for the future we are also inviting delegations from specific communities of women particularly aboriginal women and women from racialized communities who may have challenges for us, academics who have demonstrated respect for our frontline activities and approaches, activists from other liberatory struggles and women who have personal experiences enduring and resisting violence against women.

 

Over the course of three days we expect to advance our discussions of the role played by violence against women in preventing the freedom and equality of women as a group. 

 

We expect some discussion of our role in and our strategies against the colonialism, racism and class biases that compound women’s oppression and divide women from each other. 

 

We will be looking at and opening up our understanding of government policy which effectively decriminalizes violence against women including prostitution and policy which effectively criminalizes women’s coping and resistance to poverty and violence including welfare fraud, solicitation and self defense against abusive husbands and ex-husbands. 

 

We know we will examine diversion and restorative justice, counseling/advocacy issues, the professionalization and credentialing of our work, our relationship as anti-violence workers to prostitution and trafficking, the relation of our women’s groups to the government economic agenda, women’s impoverishment and the impact of the global economy on violence against women here and abroad.

 

Over the next ten days we will prepare for our discussions partly by making some materials available at www.casac.ca .  We are a little behind in loading those materials but expect to have most things up by April 15/2005

 

A few of you have been invited to make short presentations to our membership on one of the first two days of our deliberations.  We expect those presentations will be specific to particular policy proposals most relevant to internal center issues such as research, credentials, counseling/advocacy techniques.

 

Our meeting of representatives will continue.  But on the second day and evening, we are also hosting an opportunity to ally between frontline anti-violence activists and members of the alternate media.  We plan to showcase both sides of that alliance and to expand, for each other the possibilities of meaningful cooperation into the future

 

On the third day of our gathering, we would be very pleased to have ALL of you join us.  We respect your approach, work and opinion on at least one of the topics and would value and welcome your participation in all of our discussions on that day. 

 

We expect to digitally record the sound of the whole event for future use.  But we are also advancing our communication by experimenting with a webcast of the third day.  Women will gather in many of our centers across the country and will be encouraged to email their delegates as the conversation develops.  Perhaps your constituents will be interested too!  For information regarding the webcast email casac01@shaw.ca

 

We are very much looking forward to this new opportunity and new way of working with you.

 

Regional Representative Committee

Lee Lakeman

Diana Yaros

Michele Roy

Tracy Duffy

Georgina Sabourin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOTEL COSTS:  Collectively we have secured several hotel rooms for both our needs as members and those of our guests. To reserve one of those rooms please notify us by return email.  casac01@shaw.ca .  We will be in the same hotel as the west coast LEAF/NAWL convention and we encourage you to stay for that gathering but we will be unable to pay for the hotel during that part of your stay. We would be happy to connect you with the hotel or with the westcoast LEAF/NAWL organizers

 

TRAVEL  COSTS: Centers delegates will pay their own way to this convention (with some assistance from their centers).  Your attendance is important to us so if you need  assistance of some kind please email us at casac01@shaw.ca