Our Team

The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre is made up a group of dedicated, passionate, caring and professional individuals.

Staff

We have 30+ professionals on staff including counsellors, victim service workers, prevention educators, development and administrative staff. Our Leadership Team consists of our Executive Director, Direct Client Services Manager, Prevention Co-Directors, Research Manager, Accounting Manager, and Resource Development Manager.

Volunteers

We have a range of committed and fabulous volunteers ranging from Sexual Assault Response Team members, Office and Event Volunteers. Find out more about how you can get involved.

Executive Director

Samantha Loppie – Executive Director

Samantha Loppie is privileged to work closely with the programs and people who support survivors of sexualized violence, their families and the community.

Samantha is 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 she lives and works. Originally from Nova Scotia, she gained a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Dalhousie University, located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. She has spent over a decade in management and leadership roles in a variety of sectors including sexual health, human resources and anti-violence work.

She is dedicated to collaborative leadership that uplifts the voices of people around her and strives to highlight the knowledge and experience of voices who are most often silent or silenced. As a woman with mixed ancestry, she recognizes her heritage as Black Nova Scotian, and Acadian settler and honours distant roots in Mi’kmaq communities. She is grateful for the support of the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre staff and community in their collaborative efforts to end gender-based violence through healing, education, and prevention.

Board of Directors

Learn more about joining our board.

Chelsea Pichor – Co-Chair

Chelsea Pichor has been working with Island Health since 2009. She has lived in Victoria and worked at RJH in Anatomical Pathology for many years as the evening supervisor and is now the Team Lead of pre analytics for NRGH, WCGH, Chemainus, and Ladysmith labs. Prior to working at Island Health she worked at the Melchezidek Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya from 2007 to 2008. There she performed laboratory duties and phlebotomy within the hospital and in numerous rural communities including creating a blood draw program for typhoid fever for community members. Her true passion however is fighting for social Justice and and In her free time she volunteers, spends time with her kids and dog, snowboards, and plays softball. 

Susie Bowles – Treasurer

Originally born on the shíshálh Nation (colonially known as the Sunshine Coast), Susie has been an uninvited guest on lək̓ʷəŋən territory for over 15 years. Susie brings a unique blend of financial expertise and unwavering dedication to social change. With roles as a teacher, entrepreneur, and her current position at the Canada Revenue Agency, she’s become a finance expert with an educator’s heart.

Since 2021, Susie has taken on the role of Treasurer at VSAC, with an unwavering commitment to financial literacy and community. She has been honoured to be part of the mission to empower survivors, prioritize education and prevention, and amplify the voices of sexual assault survivors.

Beyond her professional life, Susie is passionate about engaging in dialogues on privilege, power dynamics, and biases, believing that together, we can dismantle oppression and create a safer, more equitable world. As a fat activist, she advocates for a world where everyone can live fully embodied, juicy, and pleasure-filled lives. Susie likes to rest as hard as she works and plays, so you’ll often find her being a mermaid in the pool or with her nose in a book, snuggled up with her orange cat, George.

Eva Arriaga – Director

Eva (she/her) is a Toronto-native author, certified death doula, and human resources professional. No stranger to a fast-moving world, she managed some of Toronto’s most renowned restaurants and nightclubs before moving to Victoria in 2021 and becoming the CXO for Rogers Society. She has always sought positions and places that allowed her to make an impact within the community and is fueled by being able to create spaces for people to be their most authentic selves, in any form. Eva spent several years be-tween Toronto and New York, cultivating events and multi-disciplinary art shows to benefit marginalized artists, as well as CAMH (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). Making art, and artists more accessible, while providing resources and outlets to the community, is a priority in the work she does. Having released her first book in the last year, Eva’s next artistic venture is focused around providing publishing and printing resources to other artists, through PWR Publishing. Being able to serve on the VSAC Board would allow her to support a cause close to her heart, using her diverse skill set and life experience. Eva is honoured to be able to aid in creating a safe space for others to find healing and hope within.

Sara Beam – Director

Sara was born and raised on the lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit River and settled here as a guest on the lands of the lək̓ʷəŋən  speaking peoples in 2001. She is honoured to serve a grassroots community organization that does such vital work. Sara is the mother of two amazing young adults, a sexual assault survivor, and a professor of History at the University of Victoria. At UVic, she has served on the university Senate, chaired a number of administrative committees, and participated in strategic planning processes. She is deeply committed to inclusive decision-making and finding solutions that address the needs of all stakeholders. She teaches a popular History of Human Rights course at UVic that explores how women and other marginalized groups have had to fight for their rights in a global context shaped by centuries of colonialism. In her free time, Sara enjoys yoga, hiking, swimming and the company of good friends and family.

Alison Demers – Director

Alison (she/her) is a proud francophone from Quebec, but her heart now resides on the traditional land of the lək̓ʷəŋən people. She has been serving in the military, since 2014, while dedicating her free time to support survivors of sexual assault. As a psychology graduate and survivor herself, she is devoted to creating spaces where healing thrives. In addition, as a women part of the LGBTQIA+ community that joined the navy at 16, she has been on quite the journey that taught her skills in administration, leadership, mental health, and critical thinking. Throughout her military career she got involved as a Positive Space Ambassador and a Workplace Relation Advisor, which strengthened her belief in the importance of support of one another. In January 2023, she started volunteering for the Victoria Sexual Assault Center as an event and office volunteer which introduced her to the organization. Now honored to serve on the board of directors, her personal mission is working tirelessly towards creating a community where every voice is heard, and every survivor feels safe and supported. She deeply believes that together, we can make a lasting impact! 

Elsbet Doucette – Director

Elsbet was born and raised on Salt Spring Island, where she had the opportunity to grow a strong connection with, and appreciate the land and community. From a young age, Elsbet knew she wanted to work with and help others. She earned her bachelor’s in Kinesiology but ultimately has chosen to support clients through buying and selling real estate. As a soon to be mother of two, Elsbet is passionate about creating support and education around sexual violence for her children and their peers that is different than what she grew up experiencing. Elsbet is excited to bring her passion for women’s issues and social justice combined with her knowledge of effective systems and administrative skills to VSAC. When Elsbet isn’t working she enjoys time with her family, reading, sewing, knitting, and cuddling her dog Kenny.

Preet Grewal – Director

Preet (she/her) is a settler on the territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples, known as the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations.  Her parents emigrated from India to pursue a better life for their children. They left behind their professional careers and friends and family to work hard labour jobs in Canada. The sacrifices her parents made for her are always top of mind.

Preet grew up in Victoria and is appreciative to live in such a beautiful place. She is passionate about addressing racism and better supporting people who have experienced sexual violence. She has a comprehensive understanding of the supports available and the gaps and barriers many people experience when reaching out for help.  She plans to bring her experience, tenacity and a willingness to learn more about the positive changes we can make for survivors to this role. She works in communications and lives with her two cats Gurp and Ravi.

Roshni Narain – Director

Roshni is privileged to lived on the traditional territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples. She holds the position of Director of Human Rights at UBC. She has spent over two decades working in the anti-violence field, and in various positions, including direct support to survivors, developing curriculum and training, and developing feminist-framed services, policies, and programs that emphasize an intersectional understanding of the differing impact on survivors. Much of her career has been in non-profit organizations, and comes to VSAC with a strong understanding of how non-profits work and the challenges they face. She is commit-ted to and excited to contribute to furthering the mission and values of VSAC.

Ruth F. Rogers  – Director

Ruth was born in Toronto but moved to Victoria to complete her graduate degree in 1984.  She fell in love with the West Coast and made her home here, on the unceded territory of the Lekwungen and Songhees nations.  Ruth was drawn to feminist and political theory, particularly in the way that social and political institutions engage with marginalized and under-represented people.  Her interest lead her to complete a joint M.P.A. and LL.B. degree and she was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1993.

Ruth worked for the Ministry of Attorney General and the Ministry of Solicitor General on issues involving aboriginal justice where she had the opportunity to travel throughout the province and see, first hand, the extent of the many injustices imposed on First Nation people living on and off Federal Reserve Land.  Ruth was privileged to be involved in a research project to honour and memorialize the Tsilhqot’in war chiefs who were hanged in 1864 and 1865 during the Chilcotin War, she has worked with the First Nations community in the Downtown Eastside and participated in the development and enactment of the Nisga’a Final Agreement Act.

While working for the provincial government, Ruth developed the Model Class Action legislation for the Uniform Law Conference of Canada.  This Model Act was enacted in British Columbia as the Class Proceedings Act, and remains the Model Code in Canada.  Class Action legislation remains the only vehicle capable of providing compensation for individually non-recoverable claims.  Ruth lead the Definition of Spouse Project, a cross government legislative amendment initiative that amended British Columbia’s legislation in order to expand that definition of spouse to include same-sex and common-law couples.  Ruth also provided legal advice on several pieces of legislation including amendments to the Victims of Crime Act, to enhance the rights of victims, and to the Interpretation Act, to toll the limitation period for women suffering with defective breast implants.  In private practice Ruth concentrated on public and private sector privacy and information legislation for small and corporate clients.

A lifelong animal lover Ruth has been involved with the Pacific Animal Therapy Society (P.A.T.S.) since 1989 with three of her beloved dogs.  She and her dogs have volunteered with P.A.T.S at the Queen Alexandra Centre and at the Mount Tolmie Hospital.  Currently Ruth volunteers with her sweet Papillon, Rosie, where they are  frequent visitors at the University of Victoria’s Pet Café and at Carlton House in Oak Bay Village.  Ruth has also volunteered for Together Against Poverty as an advocate for disabled adults and for the Piercy Respite Hotel for seniors and disabled adults.

Alaya Simpson – Director

Before moving to the traditional and unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən  speaking peoples, Alaya (she/her) grew up on the Sunshine Coast, on the unceded lands of the shíshálh peoples, where she gained a love of the environment and community. She be-came interested in feminism through the strong women in her family, and began reading about it as a teenager. This drew her to study gender studies, which gave her a deeper and more broad understanding of intersectional feminism. As a recent graduate from the education program, she is very passionate about dismantling systems of oppression that allow for sexualized violence. She teaches English, and hopes to integrate more inclusive gender and sexuality education. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and playing with her little black cat, Bagheera.

Rachel Trebilco  – Director

Rachel (she/her) is a cis-gendered Métis woman originally from Edmonton in Treaty 6 territory. She spent a good portion of her youth in Calgary, within Treaty 7 territory, before moving to Vancouver Island to reside as an uninvited guest on lək̓ʷəŋən land. Rachel is actively working to unpack and reconcile the complicated relationship inherent in being a visitor to the community and land with the work she does professionally and personally.

With a Bachelors in Sociology, a Bachelors of Education, and a Masters degree in Counselling, Rachel is a District Counsellor in Indigenous Education at School District 61. Previously, she worked as the Indigenous Counsellor at Esquimalt High School where she connected with Indigenous students and families providing counselling support as well as various types of programs and events, including annual camping trips. Additionally, Rachel worked at the University of Calgary as the Sexual Violence Support Advisor, and with the Victoria Women’s Transition House as a Counsellor. It is through these work experiences that Rachel developed a passion for creating environments that are free from violence of all kinds. Through various ways of being, Rachel advocates and promotes equality, inclusion, violence-free language, and the rights for everyone to feel safe and worthy of pursuing their interests.

Rachel has a deep love for sport and fitness. Growing up she played hockey and boxed, but is now enjoying CrossFit, surfing, yoga, baseball, canoeing, and recently sprint triathlons. Live concerts, travelling, being isolated in nature, reading, and planning events with friends are other passions. Rachel looks forward to raising her daughter to be a confident Métis person through physical activity, nature-based play, and feminist informed ways of being.