The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre (VSAC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Samantha Loppie has been hired as its new Executive Director. Loppie replaces Elijah Zimmerman, who led the Centre from 2020 to January 2023. Loppie is well-positioned to launch into this new role, having served as Interim Executive Director between January and May 2023 and previously as Direct Client Services manager at VSAC. Loppie brings both a deep knowledge of VSAC and fresh leadership to the organization.
Loppie, who holds a Master’s in Sociology and brings a wealth of management experience to VSAC, most recently serving as a manager of Direct Client Services at the Centre. In that role, she proved herself to be a collaborative leader and problem solver who facilitated the re-organization of VSAC counselling services to reach more survivors, more rapidly. Given what we know about the importance of timely intervention to promote survivor healing, these changes enable VSAC to broaden its reach and effectively fulfill its mission. As Interim Director this spring, Loppie supervised a complex re-application for charitable status with the CRA and brought a years-long project of developing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policies and procedures to fruition. Loppie also brings her personal and professional experience to a continued journey of learning as she seeks to better understanding of what it means to lead an organization and work collaboratively with the lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples on whose unceded territory VSAC is located.
As Executive Director, Loppie will lead VSAC in its day-to-day operations and in achieving its larger goals, including obtaining the funding needed to maintain the clinic as well as educational and prevention projects, strengthening networks with Indigenous communities, and launching a new strategic plan for the organization.
Message From Samantha Loppie:
I am pleased to introduce myself as the Executive Director of the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre. I am privileged to work closely with the programs and people who support survivors of sexualized violence, their families, and community.
I am an uninvited visitor on the territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən people, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt nations, and the W̱SÁNEĆ people on whose land I have worked and lived for the last 9 years. Originally from Nova Scotia, I gained a Masters Degree in Sociology from Dalhousie University, located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. I have spent the last 10 years in management and leadership roles over a variety of sectors including sexual health, human resources and anti-violence work.
I am dedicated to collaborative leadership that uplifts the voices of people around me and strive to highlight the knowledge and experience of voices who are most often silent or silenced. As a woman with mixed ancestry, I recognize my heritage as Black Nova Scotian, Acadian settler and honour distant roots in Mi’kmaq communities. I am grateful for the support of Victoria Sexual Assault Centre staff and community in their collaborative efforts to end gender-based violence through healing, education and prevention.
About the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre:
The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre is a feminist organization committed to ending sexualized violence through healing, education, and prevention. We are dedicated to supporting women and all Trans survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, through advocacy, counselling, and empowerment.
Since the organization’s inception in 1983, demand for services has continued to increase. The Centre relies on grants and fundraising to provide critical services to clients.
For more information please contact:
Samantha Loppie, Executive Director
250-383-5545 ext. 168