Formed in partnership with the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC), the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) and the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC), the OHL ONSIDE program has been specifically designed for OHL players and team staff aimed at increasing the understanding and awareness of the player’s responsibility to demonstrate respect for women through their actions and words.
The project was developed as a two hour workshop with opportunity for personal development and ongoing leadership as young men in the OHL. This initiative sees the OHL as leaders in promoting the importance of respectful relationships between young men and women in their communities.
The OHL ONSIDE program stems from a training session in 2014 between the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) and the Peterborough Petes to help players understand the importance of respecting women.
Following the success of the Petes’ program in 2014, the OHL requested KSAC to design a similar training for all teams. In 2015, the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC) was brought on to help KSAC develop OHL ONSIDE because of their expertise in engaging men through their Male Allies program.
OHL ONSIDE is a mandatory program that works in conjunction with the OHL’s other league programs in areas such as mental health awareness, drug awareness, health and safety education, and is an important piece of the league’s ‘Players First’ guide.
OHL ONSIDE is facilitated locally to OHL clubs by OCRSS Public Educators. The program also includes a game-night awareness component in partnership with OHL clubs and local sexual assault centres.