Panel Discussion Will Address Sexualized Violence in Our Legal System

Halifax | The Avalon Sexual Assault Centre is celebrating almost 35 years of service this week with a panel discussion, Sexualized Violence in the Legal System: Challenges and Opportunities, after its annual general meeting.

Community partners, media, government officials and friends of Avalon are invited to attend this free public event to be held in the Helen Crieghton Room of the Alderney Library on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.

“We want to hear from legal professionals and legal advocates what is being done to address systemic barriers, oppression, and a lack of understanding about sexualized violence. We particularly want to explore what justice looks like for all survivors and how we can achieve it,” says Jackie Stevens, Executive Director at Avalon.

Panelists are educators, journalist and community activist El Jones, Sergeant Stephanie Carlisle of Halifax Regional Police Sex Crimes Unit, Crown Attorney Susan McKay with the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, and South House community worker Carmella Farahbakhsh. The moderator is Emma Halpern, Officer of Access and Equity for the Nova Scotia Barristers Society and past Avalon board member.

“I am excited about this panel topic is given the recent events locally and nationally that demonstrate a lack of understanding surrounding consent. I find it alarming to hear comments from members of mainstream society that blame the survivor or think consent is not an affirmative action,” says Lee-Ann Conrod, Avalon board member, and event organizer.

“The fact that lawyers and judges get it wrong demonstrates the need for further training and discussion. I am hopeful for a large turnout from a cross-section of our community,” says Conrod.

The event will also feature spoken word performances by El Jones, Deirdre Lee and Mariah Pelly-Smith.

Alderney Landing and the Alderney Library has parking available is on the public transit route and is wheelchair accessible.


Avalon Sexual Assault Centre is a non-profit feminist organization working to eliminate sexual assault/abuse and to change the current socio-political culture that fosters sexism, social injustice and other forms of oppression.


Jackie Stevens, Executive Director

Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, Halifax, NS