Amelia Rising Sexual Violence Support Centre has a new executive director.
Erika Lougheed has been appointed to the position.
“Erika is a passionate, rights-based advocate who embodies the principles that Amelia Rising stands for,“ says Anthony Campigotto, Board Chair. “She brings a wealth of experience in leadership, education, non-profit management, advocacy, and government relations.”
Lougheed says there is an urgent need for support in the region for their services, noting there’s about a four-month waitlist.
“That’s a four-month wait for someone who has experienced sexualized violence and that’s an incredible amount of time,” she says. “Our counsellors are very skilled and professional and the need is there. We just can’t get to that waitlist in a timely manner and that’s absolutely unacceptable.”
Lougheed says sustainable government funding is needed to retain staff and keep the organization going.
She says centres like theirs have been “grossly defunded” over the past dozens of years, adding Amelia Rising hasn’t received any increases since its inception in 1996.
“In order to retain staff and in order to keep the organization going you do need a funding model that is sustainable and right now we don’t have that,” she says. “We can’t rely just on fundraising to make an organization run.”
Lougheed says people can help by advocating for the centre and upstream solutions.
Amelia Rising Sexual Violence Support Centre provides free, confidential support for people 12 years of age and older who have experienced sexual or gender-based violence.