Thank you to everyone who attended, donated, and supported us at our 3rd Gala, it was a tremendous success!

Like our Facebook Page for other opportunities to support CoSA Ottawa!

Check out the evening’s photos here

CoSA Gala 2018 nolinks

We have moved!

Effective August 28, 2017 our new address is:
211 Bronson Ave (the Bronson Centre), #207A, Ottawa, K1R 6H5 (613 288-2284)


Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) is a reintegration initiative, operating on restorative justice principles, that assists individuals who have served a prison sentence for a sexual offence(s) in their effort to re-enter society. These individuals, who we refer to as Core Members, participate in the program voluntarily, so are not mandated by the judicial system.  CoSA-Ottawa is one of currently 15 Canadian sites operating a CoSA program, representing approximately 150 to 200 circles and 700 volunteers.

The Core Member and three to five trained and screened community volunteers comprise a Circle.  They meet as a group and individually on a regular basis to:

  • Support the Core Member’s community integration by facilitating his practical needs (i.e. access to medical services, social assistance, seeking employment, affordable housing, etc.) and by providing a consistent network of emotional support;
  • Develop constructive and pro-social strategies and solutions to everyday problems and concerns;
  • Challenge the Core Member’s behaviours and attitudes that may be associated with his offending cycle;
  • Celebrate successes.

Board of Directors


Emmy Verdun, Economist, Retired Public Servant
Vice President:
Cliff Yumansky, Retired Federal Public Service
Sharon Rouleau, Finance Assistant, Shepherds of Good Hope, and former Circle Volunteer
Tara McWhinney, PhD Candidate, Social Sciences


Alice Doell, Retired Pharmacist and current Circle Volunteer
Kerry Lamming, Retired High School Principal and current Circle Volunteer
Sarah Starkie, Defense Lawyer
Nicole St. John, Sergeant, Investigations, Ottawa Police Service
Board of Directors 2018

L-R Front: Sharon Rouleau, Tara McWhinney, Alice Doell,
L-R Back: Kerry Lamming, Emmy Verdun, Sarah Starkie, Cliff Yumansky
Missing: Nicole St. John

(Updated May, 2018)



7 Responses to

  1. Daniel Gennaro says:

    This kind of service is needed in America. As a former Job Coach/Trainer Advocate and a family member to young adult that has been convicted of a sexual offender felony case, I see the drastic lack of support and assistance from the courts. Above all- the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the court taking the side of the younger party over the other. To discuss the problems of our society is fruitless: i.e. how woman are much more promiscuous today than ever, and how a lack of supervision in their lives, whether on the internet or out in the public goes un-mentioned or taken into consideration when judging a case.

    To overcome such cruel unfairness and bias we need organizations such as yours to take a stand for this injustice, and also a wealth of volunteers to help aide those individuals like my family member who is trying to better their life, but sadly, after being ashamed and degredaded by peers who subjugate them to a “one size fits all” offender list- they do not see any hope for their future, in terms of finding a job and making something out of themselves. They feel destitute, no matter what age they may be. While they are on the inside, ordinary, good, helpful, kind and considerate people who have been misunderstood from a young age, and helplessly probably misunderstood/misunderstand themselves.

    Can I be connected to some of your sites resources and learn how to perhaps seek the same sort of services in the u.s.a.?

    Thank you and God Bless the Church for doing his will, I wish and pray now that similar organizations rise up to the challenge in America.

    Dan from Pennsylvania.

    • slove says:

      Hi Dan,
      My sincere apologies for the delay in responding – I just noticed your message now sadly. I can send you list of CoSA sites in the US if you are still interested. If so, please contact me by e-mail at Susan

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hello my name is doug Carley. I live in Australia. I am very interested in your program. I came across the Costa program while writing a paper on the aetiology of child sexual abuse in nsw Australia.i will be travelling to Toronto Canada on the 7th sept. This year. The purpose of this visit is to study your program. Upon my return to Australia I will write a comprehensive paper on your cosa program.
    Hoping we can stay in touch.

    • slove says:

      My apologies for the delay in responding Doug. That’s great that you are coming to Canada. We would love to host you, if you are able to come to Ottawa. Regardless, I can put you in touch with my colleagues in Toronto. Perhaps send me an e-mail Looking forward to hearing from you! Susan

  3. James Black says:

    WHAT ABOUT THEIR VICTIMS. ??? 7 of Ralph Rowes victims committed suicide.

    • slove says:

      You are correct James, the harm caused by sexual assault impacts greatly on the lives of victims and their families, sometimes with tragic results. Although CoSA does not work directly with victims, CoSA has been proven to reduce rates of reoffending and therefore prevent further victimization. This is why CoSA has two mottos: No More Victims and No One is Disposable.

      There are other essential programs, like Ottawa Victims Services and Men And Healing, that are dedicated to providing support to victims of sexual assault.

  4. Jen says:

    I appreciate your response to Mr. Black’s comment. I think it would be unethical for a group that serves those convicted of abuse to also serve victims of abuse. I also appreciate that you are mindful of the victims of abuse in your motto.

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