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Barrie Colts event aims to support ending gender-based and sexual violence

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The Barrie Colts and Huronia Transition Homes are teaming up for an annual event that aims to support ending gender-based and sexual violence.

Together with Athena's Assault Counselling and Advocacy Centre, a program of Huronia Transition Homes, the Colts will host the annual OHL ONSIDE event Saturday night when they take on the Ottawa 67's at Sadlon Arena.

"It's really important that we get our name out there, that we let survivors know what is available to them in the community, and a space like this is an amazing way to do that," said Amanda Wagner, Community Development Coordinator with Athena's Sexual Assault Counselling and Advocacy Centre. "For sports culture in general, it's really important to create a culture of consent, a culture that is working to end gender-based violence and sexual violence overall and so creating these spaces to have conversations and to have awareness raising things like this, it makes a huge difference."

The OHL ONSIDE program is an initiative between the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC). It aims to increase understanding and awareness of players' responsibility in demonstrating respect for women and gender-diverse people.

"The first phone call is always the hardest, and it's always important to know that you don't ever have to share anything you don't want to," Wagner said. "You can just phone us up and say, you know, 'I'm kind of looking to come into service,' and we will help you out. It's a scary thing to call for the first time, but whenever you're ready, we will be here."

Huronia Transition Homes will be tabling five programs on the east concourse at Sadlon Arena starting at 7 p.m.

It will also hold a raffle and a Chuck-a-Puck fundraiser.

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