Sandra Hawken

Sandra DiazSandra Hawken, Director of Engagement at Interval House, Canada’s first shelter for abused women and children. Passionate about inspiring Canadians to speak out about the most critical issues facing women and girls in Canada. Feminist, chocoholic, soccer mom.

Technology in Shelters: The risks and the benefits

Girl with cameraThese posts were first published on the Interval House website and have been republished with permission.

Technology has had some very positive effects on our society. In fact, smartphones, tablets, apps, and other technologies can actually support empowering and advocating for women who are experiencing violence.

Unfortunately, there is an increasing trend in electronic violence against woman.

New study shows we’re apathetic to domestic violence?

Woman looking This article was first published on the Huffington Post and has been republished with the author's permission.

Last week a friend told me how she was feeling optimistic about the recent progress made in public attitudes to end domestic violence. The media turned up the volume to an unprecedented level in late 2014 to profile celebrity abuse cases. Obama interrupted the Grammy’s with a poignant anti-abuse message. The Super Bowl was all about domestic violence ads. It’s almost hip and even trendy to speak out against sex assault.

You Can Help End Human Trafficking

Sometimes referred to as “modern day slavery”, human trafficking is an extreme form of violence against women that exploits Canada’s most vulnerable girls and women. Traffickers can receive as much as $280,000 per year for each girl or woman they sexually exploit and force into prostitution. The younger the girl, the more money they make.

Through our consultations with 250 organizations and 150 survivors of sex trafficking we learned that many girls are 13-years-old when they are first trafficked into forced prostitution

Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships

We've all seen the recent headlines with high profile allegations of domestic abuse. I can't count the number of times I've heard friends and family ask the same question of those stories: "why doesn't she just leave?"

Too many people assume that if a woman is in an abusive relationship that she is making a choice to stay and that she has the power to end the abuse if she just leaves.

We're Raising Girls Who Hate Their Bodies

Girls Quilt

Every day, our daughters are bombarded with lies.

They see these lies everywhere; they are never free of them. They see them on billboards, in TV ads, in movies, in magazines, in video games, and online. Especially online.

Every day, our daughters are presented with one acceptable definition of female beauty: white, tall, thin, large breasts.

Talking to My Son About #Rapeface

Mother and Son Earlier this month, Sandra posted this blog on Huffington Post and it sparked a conversation online and amongst media about the issue. We are re-posting here for those of you who haven’t had a chance to read it.

Last week my 12-year-old son and his friends used a term I hadn't heard before: "rape face." The next day I saw his buddy tag a photo of himself on Instagram with #rapeface.

So we sat down to talk.