Archive for November, 2010

An interesting campaign that focuses on the perpetrator and not the victim.


Its a pretty thought-provoking campaign. What do you think?

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Our next round table will be held on Thursday November 25th from 12 – 1 in room 309.

Bev Froese from the Public Interest Law Centre will be talking about women’s prisons and substantive equality.

It’s going to be a look at how the law, though appearing equal, can apply unequally in certain circumstances.

Bev worked with Elizabeth Fry on their Human Rights claims against the Portage Correctional Facility, she’s got a lot to say.


Our last round table was such a success, it would be great if you could all come out again to listen and share your AMAZING opinions!

Please feel free to read the Elizabeth Fry Human Rights Commission press release if you’d like to prepare for the round table.

Beverly Froese is a lawyer at the Public Interest Law Centre of Legal Aid Manitoba. She articled at the Centre and was called to the Bar in 2002. Beverly practices primarily in administrative and civil law, with a focus on constitutional law, human rights and poverty law. She has a Master’s degree in law that focused on U.S. constitutional law and international human rights law. Beverly is a member of the Manitoba Bar Association Council, the Co-Chair of the Manitoba Bar Association Equality Subsection and is on the Board of Directors of the Community Unemployed Help Centre.


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Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre presents in honour of Domestic Violence Prevention Month:

Monday, November 22nd  2010 at 6-8 pm – 1150A Waverley Street

Navigating the Criminal Justice System in Domestic Violence Cases: What
happens after charges are laid?

Legal Workshop for Community Women

The Workshop will be presented by Crown Attorney Colleen McDuff and will provide basic legal information and resources.

Topics include: After arrest –
incarcerated or released; The role of the Crown Attorney; No contact/non
attendance orders; Requests for variations; When charges proceed – who
decides? What if I have to testify?  Sentencing possibilities – Probation

Space is limited – pre registration is required by calling

This is a women only event. Workshop is free – please consider
donating a non-perishable food item to FGWRC for women & children in need.
Childcare, healthy snacks and bus tickets are available.

Women & Family Law Project Funded by: The Manitoba Law Foundation.

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The UMIH LGBTTQ Oral History Initiative is pleased to present:

“‘Freak Wedding!’: Queer Marriage in the 1950s and 60s”

a public talk by Elise Chenier
(History, Simon Fraser University)
Tuesday november 16th 2:45 pm 307 tier building

Dr Elise Chenier is an historian of gender and sexuality in twentieth-century Canada, and the author of Strangers In Our Midst: Sexual Deviancy in Postwar Ontario (UTP: 2008). Dr Chenier received her doctorate in history from Queen’s University, and is presently a member of the Department of History at Simon Fraser University.

Everyone is welcome to attend!

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As you may have heard, FemRev is organizing the 2nd RebELLEs Pan-Canadian Young Feminist Gathering to be held in Winnipeg, May 20-23, 2011! The first gathering took place in Montreal and hosted over 500 young women from every province and territory. It was an experience that launched the RebELLEs Movement, a pan-canadian young feminist network that is feisty, active and making waves.


The 2011 Gathering will work to empower young women and girls and to mobilizeenergizeand strengthen the feminist movement. It will provide opportunities for women and girls to develop leadership skills, share analyses and strategies for action, collectively work to improve the lives of young women, and to work within diversity in order to make meaningful contributions to the communities we are a part of. It is an opportunity to collectivize our struggles and make create concrete plans for change.


FemRev is hosting a local Consulta, a consultation process that will allow us to include various women’s perspectives and experiences in the development of the structure, content, and focus of the 2nd RebELLEs Pan-Canadian Young Feminist Gathering. These Consultas will be happening in communities across the country, as well as here in Winnipeg.


If you are between the ages of 14-35 and are interested in participating in the RebELLEs Gathering in May 2011…


Join us for the Winnipeg RebELLEs Consulta on

Sunday November 21st!

10 am – 5pm

West Central Women’s Resource Centre

640 Ellice Ave

lunch and snacks will be provided!

The Consulta is for those who are interested in participating in the RebELLEs Gathering in May and want to share their ideas and vision for the Gathering.

The RebELLEs Gathering and RebELLEs Consulta are women-only events. These women-only spaces will be open to all persons under the age of 35 who currently identify and/or live as women,  as well as those who were born female who claim no particular gender identification, who are two-spirit or genderqueer.

The purpose of the Consulta is to:

  • Share our visions on the content, program, workshops, and format of the gathering
  • Meet other young women and young feminists in Winnipeg who want to see change in our communities
  • Reflect and share on the different oppressions that young women experience and the different struggles that young women across the country are facing in diverse communities
  • Find strategies to ensure the diversity of content and participants at the gathering
  • Start to establish a list of human resources for the gathering (translators, artists, facilitators, etc.)
  • Share our visions on the content, program, workshops, and format of the gathering


Please RSVP by Friday, November 19th if you would like to participate. Please emailrebelles@femrev.org or call 330-1685 to secure your spot!



The West Central Women’s Resource Centre is a fully-accessible venue.


We will have free on-site childcare and bus tickets available.

Please let us know by Friday November 19th should you need either of these.


If you have any allergies or dietary restrictions please us know when you RSVP so we can meet your needs.



FemRev Collective
2011 RebELLEs OC

2nd Pan-Canadian Young Feminist Gathering
May 20-23 mai  2011 | Winnipeg, Manitoba
2e Rassemblement Pancanadien des Jeunes Féministes



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Read the original article here:


I have reproduced the text from the original article below to make for easier reading

Winnipeg Free Press – PRINT EDITION

Sexual defence threatens women

By: Karen Busby

Posted: 6/11/2010 1:00 AM

On Monday, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the JA case. JA was convicted of sexual assault for tying his 22-year-old partner’s hands behind her back and inserting a dildo in her anus while she was unconscious. She testified at trial she had agreed to erotic asphyxiation (strangulation) at her partner’s hands because she thought it would enhance sexual arousal. Instead, she became unconscious. In giving this evidence, she recanted statements she made when she first went to the police, including her statement that she had not agreed to erotic asphyxiation. The trial judge described her as a “classic recanting victim.”

The Ontario Court of Appeal overturned JA’s conviction, stating the complainant had consented in advance to sexual activity that occurred while she was unconscious and therefore no sexual assault occurred. JA’s lawyer is now arguing the law should just leave couples alone if they want to engage in “spicy sex.” He also asserts men who sexually touch a sleeping partner could be prosecuted if JA’s conviction is reinstated.

Erotic asphyxiation is extremely dangerous. There is no safe way to engage in it. Any time the brain’s blood supply is cut off, there is a danger of brain damage and even death. At least 1,000 Americans accidentally kill themselves each year while attempting it. Even advocates for radical personal autonomy regarding sexual practices agree all sexual activity must cease when a partner loses consciousness. Common sense dictates consent to engage in sexual activity is never present when an unconscious partner is in a potentially life-threatening situation.

The sleeping-partner problem the defendant’s lawyer raised is a red herring. In almost 25 years of research, I have never seen a sexual-assault prosecution of a man who wakes a sleeping spouse with a sexual touch unless the parties were already estranged and no longer sharing a bed.

On the other hand, there are recent cases where men have been acquitted of sexual assault for sexually touching women with whom they have no sexual history while the women are sleeping, intoxicated, drugged or incapacitated. Acquittals were granted because the defendants perceived a signal of possible sexual interest (such as flirtatious comment) at some earlier time. Sexual assault is often a crime of opportunity so perhaps it is not surprising these cases most often involve complainants who are aboriginal, young or physically disabled. A doctrine of advance consent will make these women even more vulnerable to sexual violence.

The Supreme Court should soundly reject the Appeal Court’s determination that advanced consent should become part of Canadian law.

At JA’s sentencing hearing — but not before — the trial judge learned he was a lifelong criminal and described him as a “deviant and dangerous man.” JA had been convicted on 13 previous occasions of multiple charges for violent offences. Three of the previous sets of convictions involved wife abuse; two of those involved this complainant. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, two years probation and prohibited from contacting the complainant.

Our criminal evidence laws prevent a trial judge in most cases from having information about a defendant’s prior convictions when making the determination of guilt. Thus, judges make decisions about a complainant’s credibility without having a full understanding of her actions, including why she made the complaints and what led her to her recantation.

Strangulation in wife abuse cases is common, difficult to detect and a known precursor to the use of lethal violence. In one study, 68 per cent of all battered women who sought emergency medical attention had been strangled by their male partners. Another study of the emergency records of 1,000 women who had been strangled by their partners found there were no visible or photographable markings to the neck on 85 per cent of the women. Non-fatal strangulation is a known risk factor for lethal violence. Therefore if someone survived strangulation by a partner, steps to prevent violence from escalating must be taken.

In light of these very real dangers, perhaps it is time to reconsider the evidence rules, especially when a recanting complainant has experienced serious repeated violence at the hands of the same defendant. It will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court will contextualize the complainant’s evidence in light of JA’s previous convictions.

But should the Appeal Court’s decision and JA’s arguments find purchase with the Supreme Court, we can expect to see more prosecutions in cases involving strangulation thwarted by claims that “we were just having fun.”

Karen Busby is a law professor at the University of Manitoba. She provided assistance to the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) in preparation of its brief to the Supreme Court of Canada in the JA case, but the views expressed in this article are hers alone and should not be attributed to LEAF.

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