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Featured Article:
Simple Guide on Sex Assault Reporting an Eye Opener: Porter   


Did You Know?

In the News:
    - A Workplace Designed by Men for Men? Ask Female MPs About It
    - Canada's History Marks the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage
    - Local 37 Hero Honoured With Distinction  

Parting Thoughts

Simple Guide on Sex Assault Reporting an Eye Opener: Porter
New reporting guide on sexual violence offers revolutionary approach for journalists

(…) A 17-year-old girl, brutally assaulted and left for dead in Winnipeg, says one of the most difficult parts of her experience was hearing and seeing the word “rape” in news reports about her.

I wonder, if we reporters used the vaguer term “sexual assault,” would she find her recovery easier?

That’s one suggestion a new guide for reporting on sexual violence offers journalists — ask your subject what words to use. Do you prefer the terms rape or sexual assault? Victim or survivor? Escort or sex worker? He or she?

It’s such a simple, caring suggestion, but in our rough-and-tumble newsrooms, it seems revolutionary.

The guide is called “Use the Right Words.” It was written by three members of the feminist collective femifesto. (…)

The women then surveyed survivors for their insight, and journalists for our reality. They came up with a list of tips.

Some seem embarrassingly obvious: avoid the words “confess” or “admit” when quoting survivors, since they aren’t the ones charged; avoid “kiss” or “fondle” or other lovely verbs to describe what is a criminal act; don’t call sexual assault a “sex scandal,” because that sounds naughty, not terrifying.

They also highlight the word “alleged” — a favourite of newsrooms. We’re taught it conveys doubt, protecting people’s reputations before they’ve been judged in court. It also protects us from getting sued.

But sexual assault cases are particular. Its victims are among the only ones we instinctively distrust. We’re nursed on the perverse myth that women lie about being raped, to get attention or get even, and those poor men, think of their reputations!

In this cultural context, the word “alleged” doesn’t protect the accused, the guide’s authors posit. It triggers the rape myth that the victim is lying. So why not say something else, like the case has not yet been heard in court?

“No words are neutral. They are all laden with connotation,” says Shannon Giannitsopoulou, another author of the guide. “If you can use language that doesn’t reinforce rape culture, why not do that?”

Canadian society has come a long way in the past year in the way we speak about sexual assault. We are much more supportive. But still, only one in 10 women report the crime to police because they are frightened and ashamed.

If we in newsrooms can help change that, and still do our jobs, we ought to.

At the very least, we shouldn’t cause them more trauma.

I’ll give the last word to Farrah Khan, the report’s third author and newly hired sexual violence support and education co-ordinator at Ryerson University: “If we want to build a consent culture, there needs to be consent in interviews too.”



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Voices of NB Women Forum Call for Membership: The Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum has launched a call for organizations and individuals to submit expressions of interest in joining its membership. The Forum is comprised of 12-20 representatives of women’s groups, organizations and individuals mandated and/or interested in working on matters of interest to women and serving in a volunteer capacity. Organizational representatives and individual members must be women (includes trans and cis gender women). You can find full details here.    

Free Webinar:  Refugees and Trauma - Tips for Supporting: Refugee individuals and families carry with them vulnerability, potential trauma as well as strengths and stories of resilience.  This webinar explores trauma in relation to the refugee and migration experience.  Core needs are explored alongside areas of both vulnerability and transformative growth.  Tips applicable to a wide range of helpers are offered for supporting refugees and newcomers that enhance their capacities to be able to recover, adapt and flourish in the next phase of their lives. Watch Now

Lunch & Learn Series, Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre For Family Violence Research: Fredericton, Tuesdays 12 to 1 pm.
·   Women of Courage Program: February 16. The program is intended as an adjunct to traditional
    therapy by offering a Canadian wilderness experience created for women who are involved in
    the process of healing from an experience of violence or abuse, whether sexual, physical or
    emotional, and experienced at any time in a woman’s life.

·   Violence in the Workplace Research Team: February 23.   This research team has gained
    insight about New Brunswickers’ experiences of bulling, intimidation, victimization, aggression,
    and other forms of violence and abuse in their workplace. Also, they have identified the need to
    understand the issue from the vantage point of organizational stakeholders, furthermore, the team will
    examine perceptions, successful practices, and areas which continue to present challenges.
    Presenters: Workplace Violence and Abuse Research Team Academic Co-Chair Sue
    O’Donnell Presentation Title: Recognizing, Responding to, and Putting an End to Abuse in the
For more info, contact the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research at 506-453-3595.

Radiothon 2016 Financial Campaign for the Beauséjour Family Crisis Resource Centre: The Radiothon 2016 will air live on CJSE from Radio Beauséjour between 6 am and 7 pm on February 19 to help raise necessary funds for victims of violence and their children. The campaign goal is to raise $ 90,000. Funds raised will allow the Centre to develop the first Facility Support Dog Program for vulnerable persons in the Province of New Brunswick. Toll free number to make a donation on February 19 to support this exciting program: 1-888-688-2004. For more information, call (506) 533-9100.

2016 Women & Wellness: a unique charity event that supports the important work of the Canadian Mental Health Association of New Brunswick (CMHA of NB).  Saturday, February 20, 7-10 pm, Fredericton Inn, 315 Regent Street. Activities will include a cocktail reception, door prizes, 50/50, raffle draw, and a silent auction. The guest speakers for the evening are Naomi Mahoney and Mary Ellen Landry. Reception starts at 6:30 pm and the event begins at 7:00 pm. Please be advised that this is a woman-focused event. To register:

Support to Single Parents Programs, Moncton:
·   The Messages of Anger - Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30 am, starting February 16, $30.
·   Helping the Family Thrive After Separation - Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm, starting February 23, $30.
·   Self Esteem - Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30 am, May, $80.
No one will be refused service if they are unable to pay. Registration begins 3 weeks before start date. Call Nathalie at 506-858-1303 ext. 3301, Email:
For more information on programs:

Woodstock Caring Communities Committee is hosting the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada’s production, ‘Ghosts of Violence’. There will be two performances; one for students of The Woodstock High School during the day and an Evening community presentation on February 22, 7:30 pm, McCain Community Theatre at Woodstock High School. Doors open at 7pm. Admission by donation.  Proceeds will go to Sanctuary House and Valley Outreach. Please call Valley Outreach at 506-328-9680 if you require any further information.

Family Enrichment and Counselling Service is offering the following:
·  Survivors of Suicide Attempts (SOSA) Group – Eight weeks starting Tuesday, February 23 from 
    6:30 to 8:30 pm.   Free
·  Seeking Safety: Support & Coping Skills for Those Dealing with Trauma and/or Addiction – Eight weeks starting Thursday, February 25, 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  Cost: $40 per person (subsidies available).  For more information call Family Enrichment at 458-8211, 1-888-829-6777 or email

Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB) is pleased to offer the following family law workshops in February at 6:00 pm:
·   Oromocto – February 24 - Doing Your Own Divorce (For details, click here to view the workshop
·   Moncton - February 24 - Changing a Child Support Order (For details, click here to view the
    workshop poster)
·   Bathurst - February 24 - Preparing for a Family Court Hearing (For details, click here to view the
    workshop poster)
·   Edmundston – February 24 - Modifier une ordonnance de pension alimentaire pour enfants
    (For details, click here to view the workshop poster)
·   Sussex – February 25 - Doing Your Own Divorce  (For details, click here to view the workshop
To register, you must complete the on-line registration form or call the toll free Family Law Information Line at: 1-888-236-2444.

MMFF Award Call for Nominations: The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation is calling for nominations for the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award. The Award was created in 1992 to recognize outstanding contributions toward eliminating family violence.  In the name of the recipient, the Foundation will make a donation to a registered charity of the recipient’s choice, whose objectives further the goals of the Foundation. Individuals, organizations or corporations whose achievements have advanced the elimination of family violence are eligible for nomination.   All nominations for the Award must be received by March 21, 2016 and include two (2) letters of support. For additional information on application procedures, please contact Rebecca Francis

Free Education Money: Canada Learning Bonds from the Gov’t of Canada are available to children born in 2004 or later, whose family’s net income is $44,701 or less. Eligible children receive $500 at start, plus an extra $100 for each eligible year (to age 15 or maximum $2,000), including years prior to the application. Apply online at

#BecauseIts2016: One tweet by the prime minister on Friday dramatically increased views of a video showing women in jobs usually dominated by men. Now, producers of the Windsor-made video are hoping to keep interest in the video and its #BecauseIts2016 theme growing. Watch the video: #BecauseIts2016 - YouTube

Emma Watson's Feminist Book Club is Now Open for Fans and Feminists to Join: "Our Shared Shelf". Watson will choose a new book every month and readers will be able to discuss the work online. The first book is Gloria Steinem's "My Life on the Road." To participate, readers must open an account on and join the group.

HeForShe IMPACT Champions Launch Gender Parity Report: Emma Watson and 10 of the world’s leading companies release new workforce gender diversity figures in UN Women’s inaugural HeForShe Parity. Read the Report  /  Watch Video

New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity, January 2016 Newsletter:

Current Opportunities to Serve on New Brunswick Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs):   Qualified women and men having the highest personal and professional integrity are invited to serve on New Brunswick Agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs).  For more information, check out the following link:    ABC current opportunities

Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum: Contact Us: Sartain MacDonald Building, 551 King Street, Suite 103, Fredericton NB E3B 1E7, T. 506.462.5179, 1-844-462-5179, F. 506.462.5069, E.,

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Text images4


Caesarean Section Rate
New Brunswick’s C-section rate is 27% (in 2012). Regional differences continue to exist.
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In the News:

A Workplace Designed by Men for Men? Ask Female MPs About It

Stephanie McLean was elected to the Alberta legislature on May 5 as the NDP MLA for Calgary-Varsity; she’s also pretty sure her son was conceived that same day.

And as she is about to give birth – Feb. 7 is the due date – the 28-year-old politician is also about to make history as the first MLA in Alberta to have a baby while in office. (…)

Prime Minister Trudeau has asked Government House Leader Dominic LeBlanc to work with the opposition to make Parliament Hill more gender-sensitive, and so he is now looking at abolishing Friday sittings, scrapping scheduled votes that usually occur after 6 p.m. (perhaps voting in the afternoon after Question Period), and starting the work day in the Commons an hour earlier, at 9 a.m.

These changes would allow MPs with families, some of whom live in Ottawa, to get home for dinner. Abolishing the half-day Friday sittings would allow MPs to get back to their ridings, work with constituents and be at home with their families for the weekend, he says. (…)

In addition to that, NDP House Leader Brian Mason says the government has already tried to bring in “family-friendly” workplace hours.

Nancy Peckford of Equal Voice, the non-partisan organization advocating for more elected women, says it’s astonishing how basic these changes are, compared to other workplaces. But it’s a start.



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Canada's History Marks the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage

Canada's History Society marks the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage with special editions of Canada's History and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids.

For Canada's History, a special panel – including former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and bestselling author Charlotte Gray – selected "20 Great Women" from Canada's political, business, artistic, and activist history.

"In a perfect world, the women on our list would be household names. But for too long, history textbooks have focused on great men, to the exclusion of all others," Editor-in-Chief Mark Collin Reid said. "Hopefully, this special feature will launch a broader conversation on outstanding women in Canadian history."

Panelist Charlotte Gray called the experience of selecting Canada's Great Women, "a fabulous challenge… you have to think: What makes these women truly great?" (…)        

Canada's History invites everyone to go online at to explore the lives of these incredible women. We also invite Canadians to vote for their favourite Great Woman, or nominate others deserving of recognition. All participants will have their names entered in a draw for an original painting by Barbara Paterson, sculptor of the "Famous Five" monument on Parliament Hill. (…)

About Women and the Vote

Women in Manitoba made a breakthrough on January 28, 1916, when they became the first in Canada to win the vote. Saskatchewan and Alberta soon followed. The federal government opened voting to women in 1918 and by 1922 women could vote in most jurisdictions.

Women's political rights led to gradual changes in areas such as property law, reproductive rights, protection from domestic abuse, wage parity, and equality in the workplace – changes which continue to take place today.

Canada's Great Women show us that anything is possible – inspiring new generations of Canadians to build on their achievements.



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Local 37 Hero Honoured With Distinction

Local 37 couldn’t agree more with the YWCA of Saint John – Bernice Lanigan is truly a Woman of Distinction.  Recently, Bernice received this prestigious honour at the YWCA’s first annual Women of Distinction Awards. Eight extraordinary women who, through their own initiative, ability, and effort, were recognized for exemplary achievements in their fields and becoming outstanding role models within their communities.

Bernice has been a member of the IBEW for close to 23 years and is employed as an Environmental Lead at NB Power’s Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. She was nominated and selected in the Business and Professions category for the leadership she demonstrated with Women in Nuclear (WiN) as well as her dedication to helping inspire hundreds of young women to consider non-traditional career paths.

Bernice’s achievements are most notably being a key driver in the establishment of annual province-wide events for high school girls to meet and network with tradeswomen and mentors in their communities. These dinners have proven to be an exciting exploration of career opportunities in the skilled trades and technologies. In her various roles with WiN, Bernice has also helped make great strides promoting awareness and education around the benefits of nuclear technology to people and society.

IBEW Local 37 is very proud of Bernice and her accomplishments. She is a true hero to her union, her profession, and to her community.



Parting Thoughts

“Men – I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation.  Gender equality is your issue too.”

-Emma Watson
UN Women Global Ambassador


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Women's Equality Branch | 551 King Street, Suite A | Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1