TRCC/MWAR is a grassroots, women-run collective working towards a violence-free world by providing anti-oppressive, feminist peer support to survivors of sexual violence through support, education and activism.
TRCC/MWAR envisions the liberation of women and children from all forms of violence. We celebrate freedom of choice, sexual freedom and healthy communities and human interactions.
TRCC/MWAR operates on principles of mutual respect and anti-oppression. We believe survivors of sexual violence are experts in their own healing. Together we work toward creating a thriving community, empowering survivors of all races, classes, ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities and spiritualities.
An organization for all women and transfolk!
The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre / Multicultural Women Against Rape (TRCC/MWAR) has been in the operation since February 14th 1974 when it was run entirely by volunteers. The following year, we received our first grant from the City of Toronto. Additional funding soon followed.
In the early years, we produced an education kit for high school use and launched an important hospital program which included a checklist of procedures for medical staff, a hospital pamphlet for survivors and the handbook “Emergency Room Care for Rape Victims”.
Having addressed the needs of survivors of rape at the medical level, we then expanded our programs to include a social services liaison. We also developed an educational program with crown attorneys which have enabled us to provide extensive on-going legal education.
The early 1980’s were difficult financially. It was only with the help of the City of Toronto and Metro Social Services that we were able to continue operating.
In spite of our financial concerns, we were able to complete a videotape on sexual assault and compile a chapter for the book “No Safe Place: Violence Against Women and Children”.
In the mid 1980’s, we moved to a larger premise and saw a twofold increase in our volunteer base. Much of the time was spent in training, workshops and program development. In 1987, there was a focus in Toronto on serial rapists. We were active in that crisis by organizing and speaking at community events.
Once again, in the late 1980’s financial difficulties resurfaced. We responded by establishing a wide range of effective fund-raising activities including an art auction and a film benefit.
By 1989 we were looking at ways to eliminate the physical, cultural and linguistic barriers faced by women needing our services. We improved wheelchair accessibility and obtained a TTY to make the crisis line available to deaf and hearing impaired women.
The Multicultural Access Project begun in 1989 has expanded annually by leaps and bounds. It has led to increased cultural, racial and linguistic diversification of our staff and volunteers and the implementation of strategies designed to further diversity the centre to reflect Toronto’s population.
The 1990’s have brought a substantial increase in funding, primarily from the Province of Ontario. In addition, as of December 1992, we successfully moved to our new location. We now have three counseling rooms; a large community space as well as a child care room. The community at large can access our space for groups, meetings and social events.
Also we were pleased to have launched our first annual Black History Month celebration.
In 1998, because of our commitment to prevent the violation of clients within psychotherapy and counseling, we liaised with Feminist Advocates for Counselling Ethics and Women Counselling, Referral and Education Centre and created a Clients Rights handbook, providing clients with an overview of their rights when accessing services.
Through our growth we have experienced obstacles, resistance, conflict and personal difficulties which has hindered yet not deterred our commitment towards our vision. These experiences have enhanced, empowered and expanded our vision to be more inclusive to all women.
We have come a long way since 1974. We now have 7 full time staff as well as approximately 150 dedicated volunteers.
However, the struggle continues…