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Bonnie Brayton

National Executive Director, DisAbled Women's Network (DAWN) Canada

Did you know that women with disabilities form the largest minority group in the world? Indeed, according to a 2010 World Health Organization report, this group is more than half a billion strong. Bonnie Brayton is well aware of those numbers and has been waging a campaign for inclusion rights for Canadian women with disabilities.


We Can Tell - We Will Tell: Bonnie's Story of Abuse

Un message français suivra WE CAN TELL AND WE WILL TELL! DAWN-RAFH Canada is launching a social media campaign to encourage women, especially women with disabilities and Deaf women to come forward with their stories of abuse so that we can break the silence, and claim our right to speak, to be heard and to be believed. Through this video, Bonnie Brayton has chosen to share her story of sexual abuse. Bonnie says she hopes by telling her story publicly, she might help other women to do the same, and to begin their own path to healing. Bonnie is the National Executive Director of the DisAbled Women's Network of Canada. Share your story by Tweeting to us @DAWNRAFHCanada using the hashtag #WeCanTellWeWillTell or my emailing us at Find out more on our website: NOUS POUVONS DÉNONCER LES ABUS ET NOUS ALLONS LES DÉNONCER! DAWN-RAFH Canada appelle les femmes vivant en situation de handicap et les femmes Sourdes à raconter leurs histoires de violence et d’abus. Bonnie Brayton, la Directrice exécutive de DAWN-RAFH Canada a choisi de partager son histoire de violence sexuelle ici. La parole est aux victimes ! DAWN-RAFH Canada, dans le cadre de la campagne des 12 jours d’action pour l’élimination de la violence faite aux femmes, lance une campagne sur les réseaux sociaux et invite toutes ces femmes à partager, à dévoiler, à dénoncer des situations de violence et à agir collectivement afin que cela change ! Nous encourageons toutes les femmes à partager leurs expériences sur : #DénonconsLesAbus Ou par courriel à Consultez notre site web pour plus d'information:

EVA BC Annual Training Forum 2014 - Bonnie Brayton's Keynote

Bonnie Brayton's Keynote at EVA BC's Annual Training Forum Nov 7th 2014, "Understanding the Response Needs of Women Living with Disabilities Who are Victims of Violence". Visit the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) website: Like EVA BC on Facebook: Follow EVA BC on Twitter: Subscribe to EVA BC's Youtube channel:

Bonnie Brayton - A Message from DAWN-RAFH Canada - Un message de DAWN-RAFH Canada

Bonnie Brayton, National Executive Director of DAWN-RAFH Canada's message for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the importance of accessible cancer screening for women with disabilities and Deaf women. Un message de Bonnie Brayton, directrice exécutive nationale de DAWN-RAFH Canada pour le mois de sensibilisation au cancer du sein et l'importance de l'accessibilité du dépistage du cancer pour les femmes en situation de handicap et les femmes Sourdes.

Women with Disabilities: The Fight for Dignity

Herizons, November 1, 2014Print


Despite the challenges that remain, Brayton is encouraged by the shift in Canadian social policy, which she believes is slowly becoming more inclusive of disabled and deaf women. She cites the D.A.I. decision as a “huge success,” and adds that DAWN Canada is now called upon regularly to present to Parliament. The organization is also asked to provide expert witnesses in a variety of sectors, such as health equity and antiviolence.

The Criminalization of Women with Disabilities: An Interview with Bonnie Brayton from the DisAbled Women's Network of Canada

CKUT 90.3 FM, February 14, 2014Online


On Wednesday February 12th, Bonnie Brayton, National Executive Director of DAWN-RAFH Canada, spoke to CKUT about the criminalization of women with disabilities and the lack of systemic support that exists for women like Ashley Smith and Nichele Benn.

The fight against gender-based violence must include women and girls with disabilities too, November 30, 2016Online


November 25, the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. December 10, International Human Rights Day, marks the end of this international campaign. Violence against women is an on-going epidemic in our country. Data released last year by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics in a report on criminal victimization in Canada revealed that sexual assault remains the only crime in Canada for which there has been no decline in the last decade....

Parents With Disabilities: These Moms Live In Fear Of Losing Their Kids

The Huffington Post, May 10, 2015Online


Bonnie Brayton, who heads DAWN, suggests improving support in the early stages as well. “Mothers with disabilities have unique parenting needs, including adapted cribs and change tables for mothers with physical limitations and flashing baby monitors for mothers with hearing impairments,” she says...

Look at sex trade and exploitation through disabilities lens: advocate

The Telegram, October 16, 2015Online


“The notion of survivor sex is not new for women with disabilities, that’s for sure,” said Bonnie Brayton, the national executive director at DAWN, the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada. DAWN works to advance the rights of women with disabilities...


Canadian Living, March 1, 2015Online


Canadian Living blog features DAWN-RAFH’s OUR HEALTH MATTERS, a project about access to health care for people with disabilities.

Human Rights Activism Must Shift To Reflect Reality

The Huffington Post, December 12, 2016Online


Canada's record on human rights, particularly reports and findings that have been released this past year all have one common thread: each of them points to the fact that women and girls with disabilities, including Indigenous women and girls have been completely forgotten by the State....

Equality Means Acknowledging Marginalized Women, Too

The Huffington Post, March 8, 2016Online


How many Canadians today will be thinking about women with disabilities when they think about women's equality?...

Canadian heroines: Who should appear on the country’s bills?, July 28, 2013Online


A lesser known Canadian hero, Maria Barile – an advocate for disabled women who recently died, would be a welcome addition to the country’s bills according to Bonnie Brayton, the national executive director of DisAbled Women’s Network Canada. “She was one of the first people to look at breast-cancer screening for women with disabilities,” said Brayton, who said Barile was an advocate for disabled women’s health because she saw a number of her friends die from the disease because they were not properly screened. Barile was a founder of DAWN Canada who also made significant contributions to the prevention of violence against women with disabilities, said Brayton...

Breast Cancer Awareness: Let's Ensure All Women Are 'In The Pink'

The Huffington Post, October 12, 2016Online


"Pink madness" began showing up on football fields across North America on Sunday night and it will soon be in full swing. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and everything from blenders to football jerseys are imprinted with the ubiquitous pink ribbon, accompanied by promises from corporate sponsors that a portion of your purchase will be donated to breast cancer research or awareness...


Bonnie Brayton is a strong leader in both the feminist and disability movements and has been the National Executive Director of DAWN Canada (DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada) since 2007, when the organization established a national head office in Montreal. This national, cross-disability feminist organization has focused on advancing the rights of women with disabilities and Deaf women in Canada and Internationally for the past 30 years. During her tenure with DAWN Canada, Brayton has worked diligently to highlight key issues that impact the lives of women with disabilities in regards to health equity, housing, employment and violence. Brayton has strongly promoted the representation of women with disabilities in policy changes from the employment sector to the justice sector, and is at the forefront of addressing systemic barriers at all levels.


Visionary | Professional

In September 2014, Ms Brayton was selected as one of 23 women leaders in Canada to describe their vision for the country's future. Selected from more than 200 nominees, 23 aspiring and established leaders contributed to an anthology, participated in a Women’s Leadership Conference and collaborated on a shared vision for Canada’s future.

Additional Titles and Affiliations

Coup de Balai – Clean Sweepers : President

Past Talks

Key Note Speaker

Ending Violence Association-BC Annual Training Forum 2014

Vancouver, British Columbia, November 6, 2014


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