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About Diane Hill

Diane Hill is the Director of Communication for the Gender Equality Network Canada, a national network convened and facilitated by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has worked at the Foundation since 2011 and is the former Senior Director of Public Engagement where she oversaw all marketing, communications, public relations, and social media initiatives. As Senior Writer, she founded and edited the Foundation’s biannual magazine, SHE. Diane is a graduate of the Assaulted Women's and Children's Counsellor/Advocate program at George Brown College and has a Master of Environmental Studies from York University. A former auto mechanic, she has worked as a writer, communicator, and social issue researcher for over 20 years and is the former Director of Policy and Research at United Way Toronto. Her writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, and Best Health.

The Price We Pay for Domestic Violence

2016-05-04T20:04:57+00:00May 4, 2016|SHE Magazine, Violence against women|

Image of dollars and dollar signEvery hour of every day, a woman in Alberta will experience some form of interpersonal violence from an ex-partner or ex-spouse.* That’s one of the chilling facts discovered by Lana Wells, the Brenda Strafford Chair at the University of Calgary, in her groundbreaking report “Preventing Domestic Violence in Alberta: A Cost Savings Perspective.” Her research was funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and coauthored by Casey Boodt and Dr. Herb Emery.

“We didn’t know the full economic costs of domestic violence,” Wells says. “I wanted to build a business case so government would have strong data to make better decisions on funding and policy.” Her findings were startling enough to convince the Province of Alberta to make a significant investment in additional research and to spend the next two years developing a new policy framework designed to prevent family violence.

The Journey to Voice

2016-05-02T12:15:09+00:00May 2, 2016|Sexual abuse, SHE Magazine, Violence against women|

Woman with striped shirtIn a sparsely furnished meeting room in suburban Ottawa, a group of young women sit in a circle, talking quietly. Outside, you can tell spring is on the way.

The women are members of Young Women at Risk, a weekly support group for women who have experienced violence. Each Thursday, they meet in a former classroom of a converted school, now an outreach centre for young mothers. The room contains a few chairs, a children’s playhouse in primary colours, two diaper change tables, and a folding table with an urn of stale coffee. The sound of children on their way to the playground can be heard echoing out in the hallway.

It’s Time to Recognize Women’s Strength

2016-04-19T13:08:02+00:00April 19, 2016|SHE Magazine|

Woman in auto shopWhen I was 19, I was an apprentice mechanic. I spent my days rotating tires, changing engine oil, and doing tune-ups. I was fascinated by cars and it paid a lot more than my previous factory jobs.

At the time, I was one of two female mechanics in the entire province of Ontario—so unusual that astonished customers would gape at me. Some didn’t want me touching their car; others lurked nearby while I worked, certain I didn’t know what I was doing. One businessman in a nice suit was so alarmed when I lifted the spare tire out of his trunk he tried to grab it away from me, getting his hands filthy in the process. Despite this, I loved my job.

Michelle’s Story

2016-04-07T12:47:11+00:00April 7, 2016|Impact stories, SHE Magazine, Violence against women, Women’s poverty|

Michelle and familyMichelle Lochan had the passion to be an entrepreneur, but raising five children on her own made it tricky. Then she got the right kind of help. As told to Diane Hill.

When you help a woman start her own business, you affect her children too. They want to mirror her independence and they learn to trust their own decisions. Improving her self-sufficiency also means she can leave an abusive husband if necessary, because she has her own income. That is the voice I speak from.