BASIS OF UNITY
Sexual assault is an act of power and control and part of the spectrum of gender-based violence. Sexual assault is a crime and a violation of human rights.
All people who have been sexually assaulted have the right to receive anti-racist, anti-oppressive and feminist-based trauma and violence informed support, in order to make informed choices and address impacts of their experiences.
Sexual and gender-based violence is connected to multiple systemic forms of oppression which affect individuals in intersecting ways. We recognize that gender-based and sexual violence including all forms of exploitation of bodies is tied to colonial, racist, ablist, sexist, genderist, patriarchal and heterosexist beliefs, behaviours, institutions and systems.
We recognize that capitalist economic systems without universal systems of equity also perpetuate exploitation of bodies and lands including sexual and gender-based violence.
We believe that sustainable and considerable investment in profound systemic change is needed to address the intersecting causes of sexual and gender-based violence.
All persons have the right to make their own choices with respect to their identities, bodies, minds and life directions.
Ensuring our staff, volunteers and board reflect our community’s diversity and working together as allies to recognize the values and strengths of all communities and personal identities is necessary for the planning and implementation of our services.
The participation of sexual assault survivors is essential in the development and implementation of agency services.
It is important to provide enhanced support to agency staff and volunteers, and to recognize the serious impact of vicarious trauma often experienced as a result of working with trauma and violence survivors.
By working from feminist principles of decision making - including working cooperatively and in non-violent ways – the agency can demonstrate an alternative organizational structure which could be modelled elsewhere in society.
People and institutions who perpetrate sexual and gender-based violence and harassment must be held accountable by society and the legal system.