JoAnne Brooks retires from Women’s Sexual Assault Centre

·1 min read

Pembroke -- After almost 30 years with the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre (WSAC) JoAnne Brooks is retiring this summer as the centre director to enjoy family, plant sunflowers and travel to her beloved PEI.

She was a founding member of the WSAC in 1993 at a time when sexual violence was a silent secret and there were few supports for survivors of sexual violence in Renfrew County. She noted she is pleased the Centre was able to purchase its home in 2015 which provides a permanent and comfortable location for the rape crisis centre to provide support to survivors.

As a small non-profit organization, the WSAC relies on a ‘women supporting women’ collaborative model with many individuals giving freely of their time to support survivors. This has been the bedrock and richness of being a part of the WSAC circle. Ms. Brooks leaves the WSAC knowing that survivor’s needs will always be the focus in the years ahead.

As the first feminist organization in the county there have been groundbreaking moments with many public education events like Take Back the Night marches, the Vagina Monologues, supporting LGBTQ* folks and the creation of the Stone Pebble Monument located in Centennial Park in Eganville with smaller monuments in other locations. The monument is the first world-wide, permanent monument to honour survivors of sexual violence. Raising awareness about the multi-faceted issues of violence against women have been the heartbeat of her passions.

Jancy Brown, a long-time WSAC employee will be filling the interim centre director role through the hiring process for a new centre director.

Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader

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