Scarborough Women & Family Law Workshop

On March 6th WomenatthecentrE’s Executive Director, Nneka MacGregor, facilitated a full-day workshop with women survivors who were representing themselves in the family court. Hosted by the Scarborough Women’s Centre, this workshop provided practical tools to help women navigate the process. Our next workshop will be in April in York region.

We’ve Moved

We are excited to tell you that we have officially moved into our new location.

WomenatthecentrE are now @ The Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 121, Toronto, Ontario.

WomenatthecentrE of Child Welfare

The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) is developing a Practice Guide, Policies and procedures and training material on how to ‘do things differently’ through understanding the connection between woman abuse and child protection. These will shape not only the way they deliver services, or the way their training is developed and delivered, but will influence the general attitudes of the staff working within Child Welfare, from management to the front-line workers.

On December 21st, WomenatthecentrE facilitated a focus group, bringing together women survivors from all over the province to help the OACAS get a better understanding of the complexities faced by women as they try to protect themselves and their children.

It was a great opportunity for us to raise the critical issues that they needed to know in order to make Child Welfare agencies more understanding and responsive to the real issues affecting us and our children, as we move our lives forward, free from violence.

They are moving forward with an awareness of the fact that they have three issues to address:

  1. how to protect at-risk children on the one hand, while
  2. working with the mothers & safety planning for women who are experiencing (have experienced) violence, and at the same time
  3. engaging abusive male partners and holding them accountable.

Thank you to all the amazing women who came forward and shared.

WomenatthecentrE Remembers

On the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, WomenatthecentrE held a gathering to honour the 14 women who were murdered 20 years ago. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Each Life Has Value’, in recognition of all women who lose their lives in gendered violence. Click here to view the thank you note.

Mental Health & Addictions – Women’s Roundtable

In October 2008, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care appointed an Advisory Group made up of people with lived experience of mental illness and addictions, family members, service providers and researchers to help develop a new 10 year strategy that could transform mental health and addiction services in Ontario.  In July 2009, following extensive research and discussions with people from across the province, the Advisory Group released Every Door is the Right Door, to provide a starting point for discussions on the province’s mental health and addictions strategy.

WomenatthecentrE was invited to participate in a roundtable consultation, facilitated by the Ontario Women’s Directorate, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, on the governments’ proposed 10-year Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. This roundtable focused on violence against women (VAW) and the connections between trauma associated with violence and mental illness and addiction.

In attendance were Nneka MacGregor (our Executive Director), Dawnmarie Harriott and Tania Perlin (2 of our members).

Stay tuned for more updates.

WomenatthecentrE of Law Reform

Attorney General Chris Bentley (pictured left with Tania Perlin, Nneka MacGregor, and Sheri Cohen) announced  new provisions affecting restraining orders made under the Children’s Law Reform Act and the Family Law Act.
WomenatthecentrE played an integral role in making this happen by engaging in roundtable discussions with the Ministry of the Attorney General and other advocates. We also made a submission before the Standing Committee on Social Policy on Bill 133 – a bill to amend various Acts in relation to certain family law matters and to repeal the Domestic Violence Protection Act.
Click here to view the letter from the Attorney General.
Click here for more information on changes to restraining orders.

Get in touch

Give us a call: 416-964-0892

Send us a message: admin@womenatthecentre.com

Become a member

Learn about our what it means to be a member, and sign up to join the organization.

Copyright © 2019. Women’s Centre for Social Justice. All Rights Reserved.

Nneka is an advocate who works with government and other organizations to eradicate violence against women. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Centre for Social Justice, also known as the WomenatthecentrE, our unique non-profit organization that was created for women survivors of gender-based violence, by women survivors. Nneka develops and delivers training to various agencies and organizations that promotes better understanding of the issues, and focuses on personal and political advocacy for women survivors, as well as on ways to engage men and boys in the initiatives to eradicate violence against women.

"It’s critical that those with the lived experience be the ones at the centre of social policy and reform. We must leave the shame behind and focus on ways to empower ourselves, our children … our society as a whole, to understand that violence against women, in any shape or form, is not acceptable. So we use our personal tragedies as a way to change the world – for the better."

Shelleena is a graduate of the University of Guelph where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree, focusing on Sociology; she then attended Ryerson University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work and continued on to receive her Masters of Social Work. Shelleena has completed research in feminist parenting and transracial foster placements, as well as aided in research on the intersection of Indigenous communities and IPV. She is currently completing research around sexual violence and justice.

Shelleena has over 10 years’ experience working in Mental Health and she continues to expand her knowledge. She identifies as a transfeminist, pansexual woman and is an avid advocate for notably queer and trans communities and the environment.

When she is not working with incredibly empowering comrades and advocates, she enjoys backpacking and travelling to other countries while learning about different places and enjoying new experiences and food.

Nicole is currently a Master of Social Work (MSW) student at Ryerson University completing her practicum with WomenatthecentrE. Her work includes community development, policy analysis, and advocacy work in the areas of gender-based violence, mental health and addictions, and homelessness. Nicole was recently introduced to art as a tool for resistance and social change, which has inspired her to incorporate photography into her current major researcher paper (MRP) on embodied representations of women’s resistance and strength within the context of gendered violence.

“It is imperative to not only recognize and understand the multiple, intersecting systems that oppress women, but it is equally, if not more important to highlight the ways in which women resist oppression. We need to centre strategies of resistance to create opportunities for survivors to confidently exercise power in ways that shift how people, including themselves, think about violence against women.”

Karia is currently at Ryerson University completing her Masters of Social Work (MSW). She is conducting research on the impacts of violence and trauma on the mental health of Black Canadians. She works with women, children, youth, those experiencing homelessness, and various marginalized populations.

"We are all swimming in shit, smell yourself before you smell someone else."

Shirley is a Registered Nurse. She has a Masters in Education, in Psychology and Community Development from the University of Toronto. For over fourteen years, she contributed to the care of survivors of interpersonal violence in her position as Manager of the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre in Scarborough. She was presented with the Community Service Award by the Ontario Medical Association in 2010.

Prior to this she worked with the perpetrators of sexual violence in partnership with the forensic treatment community, assessing and monitoring offenders reintegration into the community.

Janet is a social worker, a survivor of gender based violence, and an advocate for social justice. She holds a diploma in Child and Youth Work with Honours from Humber College. Janet also holds a Bachelor of Social Work from York University and is currently a candidate for Master of Social Work from York University, ready to defend her dissertation on Anti-black Racism and Canadian Child Welfare.

“Once you know a thing, you can't unknow it.”

Amanda is currently completing her Bachelor of Social Work at Ryerson University. Within her studies, she is particularly interested in examining the intersections of fatness and gender; the impacts of familial and intimate-partner violence; and the ways in which dominant power structures such as Whiteness, sexism, and heteronormativity are enacted through our current legal system.

“The word ‘survivor’ is more than an individual identity. It is a political term. Although at times we may feel like victims, what should be highlighted is our continued, collective survival. This isn’t about one woman, it is about all of us, as survivors, taking up an identity of empowerment.”