NOT OKAY is a three-year collaborative project of the Barbra Schlifer Clinic to provide women from underserved communities who have experienced sexual assault with the services they need at familiar and frequently accessed locations.

Not Okay builds on independent legal advice (ILA) piloted by the Province of Ontario at the Clinic, and works in partnership with the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre at Women’s College Hospital, and Aboriginal Legal Services.

Not Okay will increase individual access to justice for the most marginalized women in Toronto, including Indigenous women, women from immigrant, refugee and precarious status communities, women with physical and mental health disabilities, LBT women and those with non-binary gender identity, as well as those not able to access comparable supports. Specifically, the project will:

  • Offer survivors of sexual assault information sessions co-facilitated by a counselor and lawyer in the spaces that women are already accessing;
  • Empower claimants to make informed choices by providing relevant information on how her conduct and narrative can be used against her;
  • Tackle the barriers to criminal justice for marginalized women who have experienced sexual assault, and correct misinformation about the criminal process before a woman decides to report her assault to police;
  • Improve on existing public legal education materials available to claimants as well as those supporting claimants such as court support workers, agency staff, crown attorneys and members of the Bench; and
  • Provide training for criminal justice professionals on a culturally-relevant, trauma-informed response to sexual assault law.

For more information on NOT OKAY, please email notokay@schliferclinic.com.