Executive Director’s Report
April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016
LCIH continues to demonstrate community leadership in the fight for women’s equality rights and the eradication of Violence against Women.
The political landscape has changed both provincially and federally and we see that VAW and the issues facing Indigenous people, specifically missing and murdered women, is finally getting the attention that it deserves. While there is hope and action from political leaders there is still lots of work to be done in all communities to shift the culture to NO! VAW is NOT acceptable in any form in any community!
While politics and the discussions are more consistent, the last year has been plagued with other unfortunate realities. The public spotlight had a focus on Bill Cosby and Jian Ghomeshi as they faced sexual assault charges. The justice system still fails women but as a sector and a community we are growing stronger and looking to each other to demand necessary change!! Locally we saw an escalation in violence as the Wilno murders happened in September 2015 and then the Almonte Murder/Suicide (with survivor) in February 2016. Rural Eastern Ontario is at risk and in need of local efforts and focus to effect real and meaningful change in our rural communities.
While our programs and services continue to be recognized as outstanding and our staff consistently do more with less to respond to the needs of the women in our County, our team has been impacted. Compassion fatigue and self-care continue to be a focus for team retreats and team get aways as healing begins within. Despite change, challenge and needs our team is an awesome force and is planning community engagement across counties to unite in solidarity for change.
We continue to be fortunate in having the support of local individual donors, faith groups, local businesses and our County politicians as we strive to create change and demand justice for women everywhere. Without the support of our community LCIH would not have the strong foundation and the strength to maintain our varied programs and services.
Provincial work continues to be necessary and the province has a multitude of groups working on various issues. LCIH is a member of ARC (Advocacy Research Change), Building a Bigger Wave and has been invited to the government’s round table on VAW. This continues to create some challenges related to a cohesive and consistent approach. Still we understand that alone we are strong but together we are a force.
It is with the strength and courage of women, survivors, volunteers, staff, board and community members that we proudly move forward and continue to affect the movement to end violence against women!!
As we continue to advocate for women’s equality rights locally, provincially and nationally, we remain grateful to have a great team, work with great women/children, and work in a great community!!
Erin Lee Leslie Lendrum
Executive Director Board Chair