Out of the Shadows and Into the Light

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Born Legacy - IntroductionBorn Legacy - Introduction
Born Legacy - TransitionBorn Legacy - Transition
Born Legacy - EmpowermentBorn Legacy - Empowerment

Born Legacy is a community of like-minded women who support, uplift and empower each other to heal from past traumas.

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Our crew at Five Points Media are stepping up for the community by producing a ten-part on-line video series through which women can take a trans-formative journey as guided by Sasha Parrell and Ashley Snowball, the creators of Born Legacy.

The goal is to help women viewers who have suffered trauma to learn how to reclaim their power and rebuild the confidence to redesign their own life. Male viewers have the opportunity to learn more about how they can communicate with and support the women in their life.

This project has been endorsed by local politicians at all levels, and by a wide variety of community leaders. Many of their endorsements can be seen on this page. Currently, in Canada women make up slightly more than half our population, and the statistics regarding the percentage of women who have experienced the types of trauma being addressed in this show are heartbreaking.

Sadly, last year, 2019, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ranked Barrie as being the worst place in Canada to be a woman. Only by working together can we hope to change that grim distinction.

John Brassard, MP, Barrie–Innisfil
Andrea Khanjin, MPP, Barrie–Innisfil

The project is currently designed around ten subject-based episodes. The presentation will be a combination of interviews with experts, conversations with those who have experienced the issue, and a theatrical presentation of the events. The subjects will include but will not be limited to:

  • Entrapment and Dependency
  • Trauma and Abuse
  • Drug and Alcohol Addictions
  • Psychological Impact of Trauma
  • Isolation - COVID-19
  • Domestic Violence
  • Mindset and Healing Methods
  • Sexual Assault
  • Trafficking and Prostitution
  • Born Legacy Workshop Series

On their website at https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/best-and-worst-places-be-woman-canada-2019, the CCPA states the following about their study: "This annual study provides a snapshot of the gaps in men and women’s access to economic security, personal security, education, health, and positions of leadership in Canada’s largest 26 metropolitan areas. The fifth report in this series, the study measures these gaps in a given community in order to capture inequalities that can be attributed, at least in part, to discrimination based on gender; it also serves as a reminder that, with the right choices and policies, these gaps can be closed. This year's list shows no clear winner with the difference between first place Kingston and last place Barrie being separated by only 7.1 percentage points, suggesting that all of Canada's cities need to be doing more to close their gender gaps."

In a story by BarrieToday, dated May 15, 2019, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman is quoted as saying “A small change in one number would put us near the top. That said, it’s a very embarrassing headline and we should look ourselves in the mirror and ask why our numbers are lower."
Jeff Lehman, Mayor, City of Barrie - Video Pending

According to Canadian statistics, on a national level, one quarter of all calls to police are a cry for help due to domestic violence. The following is information posted on the website for The Canadian Women’s Foundation


Teresa MacLennan, Executive Director, Women and Children's Shelter of Barrie
  • All Canadians pay a steep price for gender-based violence. It’s estimated that each year, Canadians collectively spend $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone, according to the Department of Justice. This figure includes immediate costs, such as emergency room visits and related costs, such as loss of income. It also includes tangible costs such as funerals.
  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
  • Sixty-seven percent of Canadians say they have personally known at least one woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse.
  • Every six days (approx.), a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
  • Out of the 83 police-reported intimate partner homicides in 2014, 67 of the victims—over 80%—were women.
  • On any given night in Canada, 3,491 women and their 2,724 children sleep in shelters because it isn’t safe at home.
  • On any given night, about 300 women and children are turned away because shelters are already full.

Simcoe County, especially along the north-south artery of Highway 400, is known to be an area writhe with human trafficking. It is there that mostly girls and young women, as young as 12, are sold into forced prostitution. Their activities are then controlled through the use of manipulation, emotional abuse, lies, addiction, threats including against the child's family and friends, violence, isolation, and taking control of ID/documents and money.

The victim are often too young and naïve to flee, as who would believe them?. So, they feel powerless and do what their 'owner' says. In time, that 'relationship' becomes the status quo, and the victim comes to accept it until awoken by an outside influence, which can be a person, something they read, or a video they see on the Internet.

On their website, the Barrie Police Services is clear as the illegal nature of this form of abuse: "Human trafficking is a crime and human rights abuse that’s sometimes referred to as “modern-day slavery."

Thomas Ambeau, President,CEO - Ambeau Consulting Inc., Sandbox Centre

Shalu Persaud, Dosti Eats

"Human trafficking targets primarily young adolescents, as young as 13 years old. Parents/Guardians need to pay attention to what their teens may be doing on the internet/social media, as it may be a tool used by people (traffickers/pimps) to lure youths into exploitive acts." Barrie Police Services

There are several signs that a young person, may have been lured into human trafficking:

  • A new boyfriend nobody has met
  • New gifts
  • Being absent from school
  • Becoming isolated from friends and family
  • Secrecy around on-line activities
  • Any physical symptoms of bruising or injuries

"The Barrie Police Service Project Safe Horizon is an initiative that focuses primarily on the victim and their safety, both immediate and long term care, in the hopes of ending Human Trafficking in our area."

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In a report published in 2018, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit noted a roughly four-fold increase in deaths due to opiate abuse, from about 3.5 percent per 100,000 in 2005 to 14 percent in 2018.

That report also provides details pertaining to the rise of Fentanyl, also spelled fentanil, which is an opioid used as a pain medication and together with other medications for anesthesia. Carfentanil is not discussed as openly in the report, but it identified in the Ottawa Public Health as "an opioid that is used by veterinarians for very large animals like elephants. It is not for human use. It is approximately 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and 10,000 times more toxic than morphine. This means carfentanil can be deadly in extremely small amounts."

During the two year stretch of 2017 and 2018, Barrie reported 67 deaths due to opioid related deaths, such as overdoses. That number is staggering when considering that Orilla reported only twenty such deaths, and Innisfil claimed eight. Barrie also reported the highest number for 'Rate of Opioid-Poisoning Emergency Department' at 500 cases, overshadowing both Orilla and Innisfil which ranked at 106 and 51 respectfully.

Dawn Mucci, Canada's Top Mayor Award

Jesse Kerr, Sandbox Centre, Senior Engagement Manager

Isolation and loneliness are unhealthy and can lead to health issues, both mental and physical. This is exaggerated by the forced social distancing and shelter at home orders made necessary by COVID-19. It is healthy to hug those we love, as the act released endorphins and causes a calming of the mind, body, and spirit. The lack of that contact results in depression, anxiety, and increased levels of self-harm.

Isolation also leads to self-medicating through day drinking and the use of opioid and narcotics. That leads to addictions and a reduced level of care for children or live-in adult dependents, and in time the activities become a lifestyle that is unhealthy and self-destructive.

The COVID-19 outbreak has also caused issues pertaining to a woman's ability to make personal decisions and control her own life. In some cases, an intimate partner has used the period of lock-down as a means of control. There is never a 'good time' for a woman to leave an abusive relationship, but during a pandemic there are even less safe places to go, so they are trapped with a partner who may be avoiding issues through self-medicating and who is abusive.


Mental health is a huge concern when addressing any of the traumas being addressed through the Born Legacy program. Short-term abuse leads to fear and flashbacks while long-term abuse results often in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A severe case of PTSD makes a person incapable of working, of caring for themselves properly, and living in constant fear. Again, this can lead to substance abuse and self-harm.

During the three-month COVID-19 lock-down, suicide rates increased notably, as did incidents of domestic violence. Although not an excuse, constant exposure to their partner and children with no means of escape resulted in some men who had never been abusive suddenly developing those traits. This was often exacerbated by day-drinking, use of narcotics, and financial stresses.

The end result was a much higher number of women needing protection for themselves and their children, but at a time when fewer beds were available and reaching out was not easy. How does an abused woman reach out to a shelter or friends for help and emergency lodgings when their partner is in the house and within earshot 24 hours a day?

Sue Carr, Community Healthcare Consulting

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The forms of trauma addressed in this video series are very real, and statistically you know several women and children who are living through or have endured and escaped from at least one of them. Those women could be members of your family, close friends, or people with whom you work or socialize.

Despite what we all want to believe, we often cannot tell. Many abusers learn from past mistakes, and only leave physical marks that are hidden under clothing. There are also no ways to see emotional, financial, or mental abuse and control. You might think the woman would come out to you for support, but will you feed and house the victim and her children? Will you face the abuser in their defense?

The path to escape must come from within, and through knowledge of what services and safety nets are available. Freedom comes from listening to others who have experienced the same trauma, and learning from how they moved forward.

Our program will educate the afflicted, stimulate a course of action, and initiate a plan for how they can regain control of their lives and escape the nightmare that has become their lifestyle.

Experience is the key element in this program, which is what makes it so unique and effective.

Sasha Parrell and Ashley Snowball, the creators of Born Legacy as they have lived the life of trauma and helped each other to escape and grow. That is the reason they are getting so much public support because they don't just talk the talk, they have walked the walk and then learned to run.

Anybody can read a book or attain a degree and call themselves an expert, but there is no teacher like living the subject. These women have struggled and overcome addictions to alcohol and drugs which they turned to after surviving sexual assault, violent abuse, and toxic relationships. They have also both faced near-death experiences.

Regardless, through a mixture of structured education and studies in philosophy and faith, they directed themselves while supporting each other onto a path of recovery and regrowth. They now want to share their knowledge with other women who will benefit from their guidance.

Five Points Media is a not-profit-motivated social enterprise that exists to boost local charities, not-for-profit benevolent community groups, and local businesses. Our crew brings more than thirty years of international experience in journalism and documentary production. We have in five years donated more than 220 videos to more than 100 local charities and community organizations. We have been acknowledged officially as contributing supporters or partners of the Women and Children's Shelter of Barrie, St. John Ambulance, Barrie Pride, and other local organizations that are focused on improving our community and the standard of living for all.

For more than six years consecutively, our team working as our commercial division 3B Solutions, has been recognized by Three Best Rated, an international consumer reports group, as being the best video production team in Barrie. This year, 2020, our team is nominated for the 'Paying If Forward' altruism award to be presented by the Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce and the City of Barrie. We invite you to review our Testimonials page.

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