A disturbingly high number of women and teens flee for their lives from violence, abuse and the sex trafficking trade every year. And in her 9.5-year career at the YWCA Niagara Region, Krystal Snider has helped countless females and their families turn their lives around.
“I began my career at the Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre as a volunteer on the crisis line,” the 33-year-old wife and mother told ThoroldToday.ca adding that May is Sexual Assault Awareness month.
“Then I worked in the hospital response programming and a few other capacities before transitioning to the YWCA,” she explained, adding that “The Niagara Sexual Assault Centre is an absolute necessity in our community. I owe so much of my learning regarding understanding gender inequities and trauma-informed support to their incredible staff. When an opportunity came up (recently) to sit on the board, I was overjoyed at the thought of giving back to the agency.”
The Centre supports “many people in our community and is currently providing counselling to survivors of trafficking, and education to students in Grades 8 and up. I would definitely encourage anyone reading to follow them on social media and donate to such an important agency in our community as we know that many forms of sexual violence have increased throughout the pandemic.”
Snider has recently resigned from the YWCA to launch her own business, and she has become the 'Executive Disruptor' at Collaborative Community Solutions (www.collaborativecommunitysolutions.ca).
“I have taken my lived experience as a survivor of human trafficking and other forms of trauma supported by my almost 15 years experience in the non-profit field and started a consulting and training company.”
Collaborative Community Solutions “looks to provide non-profits, government agencies and the corporate sector (particularly tourism in Niagara) to develop human rights-based responses and policies that would better support someone who has experienced exploitation, trafficking and gender-based violence. As always, I will continue to advocate for the separation of sex work and sex trafficking and encourage ending all form of human trafficking through addressing inequity as the root cause.”
As a preventative measure, Collaborative Community Solutions provides “ongoing workshops for girls and non-binary youth to connect virtually and build skills and safer online communities,” she stated. “These groups have been really fun and well received by the community throughout this pandemic.”
“My goal is always to invoke change in the way systems and structures operate and to reduce harm to communities we serve and live in. With my whole heart I enjoy engaging in conversations with people with diverse perspectives and finding solutions alongside the people who are impacted by decisions that are normally made from another perspective.”
Snider and her two children were members of the Thorold Community Activities Group for two years before she volunteered to serve on that board, recently ending a three-year term.
“I learned lots from other board members about Thorold, this town that I had grown up in but felt so disconnected to. I'm so grateful to all of the board members who accepted me and helped develop my knowledge around board governance. I hope that I contributed some considerations around analyzing policies and considering who the policies work well for and who might have been left out. I also consider myself a strategic thinker who is passionate about process and policies, so hopefully, that came out in my time on the board.”
A graduate in Police Foundations at Niagara College, she has returned there, “to complete my BA in women and gender studies with a long-term goal of achieving my PHD.”
“I am a relentless advocate, as many people know.”