For us to make any significant changes we must first start by listening to survivors. We must listen to women, every single time. In the following video, some of our former clients were gracious enough to share their experiences with us and with you. You will see many of the extra layers that complicate surviving violence, such as race, poverty, language barriers, caring for children, and immigration status. We implore you to listen with an open heart and an open mind.
After decades of anti-violence and anti-racism work, our Executive Director, Dr. Roz Roach, wrote and composed a musical, dance production with a cast and crew filled with men and women who understand the impact of abuse and are passionate about bringing an end to violence. The characters and story are based on a former client of Dr. Roz’s Healing Place.
The Story behind the Sistas Calling production
The time has come and the time is now.
Violence against women and girls has a long history.
All forms of violence against women and girls have permeated the fabric of society throughout the world.
Generally, the perpetrators are male and the victims are women and girls.
Given this reality, women and girls are calling on MEN to help with the laborious task of eliminating violence against women and girls. Sistas calling is a movement reaching out to men, men with willingness and readiness to join the movement. Violence against women and girls is a Social and Human Rights issue.
Let me share Rosa’s story with you. Let me share the many challenges she encountered and how she moved through her trauma and was able to turn her life around and achieve healing.
Rosa is 42 years old. She migrated to Canada at the age of 30 to join her partner who sponsored her. In the beginning of the marriage she was forced to sign a handwritten contract from her partner which stated that she must not share family issues with anyone. She was not allowed to work, to have friends and to visit other family members. She was allowed to call her aging parents once a month for 15 minutes in the presence of her partner. She was not allowed to go outside without him accompanying her. Her abuse came in many forms sexual, emotional and physical.
One day after listening to the news on television about the death of a woman and her children at the hands of her spouse and while her partner was at a meeting, she packed a small bag, grabbed her four year old son, and ran from her home. She asked a passerby for the address of the closest police station and made a three hour journey to the station on foot, in freezing weather. She was taken to Dr. Roz’s Healing Place, a center for abused women and children with a mandate to eradicate violence against women and children.