Hope 24/7 has been in operation since 1993, with an aim to assist those individuals who have experienced traumatic interpersonal violence, and to provide violence prevention programming so that we can actualize our vision of a community without relationship and sexual violence.
Hope 24/7 is the provincially designated Sexual Assault Centre (SAC) for the Region of Peel, and serves a population of more than 1.4 million people. The Agency is located in one of the country’s most diverse regions.
The Agency operates from a feminist, trauma-informed position, meaning that we understand that there are systemic barriers that magnify the intensity and impacts of gender-based violence. The Agency approaches its clients from the perspective that they have experienced traumatic events that have impacted their physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual beliefs; and for some individuals, the trauma distorts how they see themselves and the world in fundamental ways. We understand that experiencing trauma can result in physiological changes to the brain, and thus how individuals process information and how they behave. Through evidence-based treatment and prevention programming, individuals who have experienced trauma can resume happy, healthy lives. Hope 24/7 is committed to providing such interventions.
Hope 24/7 recognizes that for many individuals, there are intersecting forms of oppression experienced because of one’s sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, language, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, etc. Experiencing these oppressions can increase the barriers people encounter, not only when accessing services, but in daily life. The uniqueness of each service user at Hope 24/7 is celebrated, and all persons are treated with dignity and respect.
The following position statements elucidate the philosophy from which the Agency operates, and will help provide a framework from which the Agency will engage the community, its partners, funders, and potential funders/donors.
Hope 24/7 is a pro-choice Agency. We believe that women, regardless of circumstance, age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, or other factors, have a right to free, quality abortion and pregnancy planning services. A woman’s right to choose is hers alone. The role of the Agency is to: (1) provide psychoeducation, as appropriate; and, (2) provide best-in-class evidence-based interventions to assist the woman/girl in meeting their individual goals.
Hope 24/7 believes that all persons are created equally and deserve the same access and rights under law. The Agency recognizes that women/girls continue to be the target of violence because of their sex, and as such they represent a vulnerable group. As a community Agency, Hope 24/7 commits to treating all clients equally, and with dignity and respect.
Hope 24/7 believes that sex work is a legitimate career for all persons, and that no one should be judged or treated differently as a result of engaging in sex work. Hope 24/7 recognizes that, for some, entering sex work is not by choice. Sex workers are often the target of violence as a result of their profession, and as such represent a vulnerable group. All persons who are active or former sex workers will have the same access to services as those in other professions, and will be treated with dignity and respect.
Hope 24/7 does not place judgement on individuals who engage in the use of illicit or legal drugs/alcohol. We recognize that for many trauma survivors, using substances is a common way of coping with distressing events. The Agency approaches clients who use substances no differently than clients who engage in other, potentially harmful, coping activities, such as self-harming (e.g. hair pulling, cutting, branding, tattooing, controlling diet/exercise, etc.).
Hope 24/7 believes that people are free to choose who they will love, engage in sexual relationships with, and marry. The Agency understands that individuals identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, two-spirited and others have been targeted for violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identification, and as such represent vulnerable groups with, oftentimes, intersecting experiences of oppression. Hope 24/7 is committed to treating all persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification with dignity and respect.