Our Impact Why We Exist
A safe world for ALL women and youth
METRAC works with individuals, communities and institutions to change ideas, actions and policies with the goal of ending violence against women and youth. Delivering relevant and boundary-breaking services and programs, we focus on education and prevention and use innovative tools to build safety, justice and equity. www.metrac.org
Impact snapshot (2013)
- 2014 Toronto Community Foundation Vital Toronto Fund Award Recipient
- ReAct Program, Blueprint Project, Status of Women Canada (2011)
- Safety Audit, Best Practice, UN-HABITAT Safer Cities Campaign (2008-2013)
- RePlay/ReJouer digital game, Winner, Adobe Max Award (2009), Ashoka Changemakers Why Games Matter Award (2007), Adobe-TechSoup Show Your Impact Award (2008)
Our Story What We Do
- Safety Audits and safety promotion for individuals, communities, workplaces,service environments and institutions
- Relevant, clear legal information, education and resources
- Build youth skills and leadership to prevent violence
- Create education and prevention tools like apps, zines, games and webinars
- Strategic partnerships to reduce violence across communities and sectors
- Share knowledge to end gender-based violence and build equity
We started because women saw violence in their community and decided to act.
METRAC’s beginnings date back to the summer of 1982 when a number of brutal sexual assaults and murders of women occurred in the City of Toronto. A group of women organized themselves as “The Toronto Pink Ribbon Committee” to demand something be done. The committee approached the Metro Toronto Chair in office, Paul Godfrey. Acting on their suggestions in collaboration with the Metropolitan Toronto Board of Commissioners of Police, a task force on public violence against women and children was established. The task force worked with Metro Toronto staff and council members, more than 80 individual community volunteers, local experts and community and service agencies.
A final report of their efforts was released in March 1984. It recommended that the Metropolitan Toronto Council appoint a body to implement all recommendations and the “Metropolitan Action Committee on Public Violence Against Women and Children” was established. A ten-member Board of Directors was appointed including Jack W. Ackroyd, Jean Augustine, Naomi Black, Trudy Don, Mary Eberts, Susan McCutcheon, Marilou McPhedran and Marion Powell and headed by Toronto lawyer and then-Police Commissioner Jane Pepino. Patricia Marshall served as founding Executive Director.
Select organizational timeline
- 1984: founded by Metropolitan Toronto Council to “function, in part, to undertake ongoing work in the areas of public education, support services and law reform”
- 1988: first Executive Director co-founds Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program at George Brown College
- 1989: develops Safety Audit Process
- 1989: uses Safety Audit to improve women’s safety in Toronto Transit Commission public transportation system
- 1993: initiates passage of criminal harassment (stalking) legislation
- 1997: participates in legislative consultations to protect women’s records in sexual assault cases
- 1998: granted standing at the Coroner’s inquest into the murder of Arlene May
- 2001: launches Respect in Action (ReAct) youth program
- 2005-2006: participates in successful initiatives to end religious arbitration in Ontario family law matters
- 2007: launches award-winning RePlay: Finding Zoe/ReJouer: Où est Zoé? online game on healthy relationships
- 2010: begins facilitating Ontario Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) Campaign
- 2012: launches May Be Me Campaign
- 2014: celebrates 30th Anniversary
Our Programs How We Do It
We promote safety for women, youth and others at high risk of violence and harassment. Through Safety Audits, research and policy work, we build safer neighbourhoods, schools, campuses, workplaces, service environments, institutions and public spaces for everyone.
Access to justice
We provide legal information and education for vulnerable women and community service providers. Our goal is to increase access to justice and help women and youth navigate the legal system and understand how it works by providing plain language legal information resources and trainings. We explain the law’s impact on women and youth experiencing violence and their legal rights and options.
Peer youth leadership
Our Respect in Action (ReAct) peer program builds youth leadership to end violence against women and youth. ReAct Youth Facilitators create resources and lead interactive after-school programs, workshops, trainings and presentations for youth,educators and service providers.
Equity and inclusion services
We offer training, consultation and learning events to build the capacity of individualsand organizations to promote equity and inclusion. We apply a gender analysis, safety framework and non-discrimination lens in this critical work.
May Be Me Campaign
May Be Me is our annual campaign to raise awareness and funds to prevent violence against diverse women and youth. It’s for everyone who wants to join the movement tostop violence before it starts.
What You Can Do
Invest in a safe world for women and youth
Your donation will support our innovative programs and build violence prevention resources for the community:
- $100 keeps our Ontario Women's Justice Network website for women and service providers operating for another month
- $1,000 allows us to help an engaged community group lead a Safety Audit in their neighbourhood
- $2,000 allows us to deliver 20 violence prevention youth workshops with 600 students in marginalized communities
- $3,000 allows us to deliver 6 training workshops on how to handle and prevent youth violence with 120 teachers and youth workers
- $10,000 and more allows us to work alongside an under-served community group to create their own tailored violence prevention tools
Apply to join our Board of Directors
We are searching for applicants who:
- are committed and reliable leaders and great communicators and team players
- will use their ingenuity, connections and resources to support the organization
- will commit a minimum of two years with approximately 8-10 hours of activities each month
- have talent and experience in: financial management; fund development; social enterprise; communications; human resources; research; real estate and facilities development; risk management; impact data; social justice; and anti-oppression framework and policy