Today is the day. April 18, 2016. My name is Linda Christina Redgrave and I can now legally tell you that.
I have been excited for this day to come as much as I’ve been dreading it. I have always known this is what I was going to do, but the reality of it is causing me great stress. Stress somewhat similar to what I felt during cross examination where fleeing the stand kept crossing my mind. Once again I feel an unquenchable thirst. Perhaps a thirst for the known since the unknown is coming full speed.
I’m going to take the good and the bad that will thrust upon me in the upcoming days knowing that this is what I just signed up for. It might actually be a bit exciting. Freeing. So far the positive has outweighed the negative in respect to the many emails I have received. I’m not doing this to gain popularity or get sympathy. I am doing it because I feel very strongly that the reason I was hiding was the reason I am coming forward, as me. I’m doing it because the current method of trying a sexual assault case by attacking victims who cannot defend themselves is barbaric. I often wonder if defence lawyers enjoy taking on these cases being an easy win to a defenceless witness. Just whack, discredit and humiliate. Next.
This is the right thing for me to do but I don’t impose what’s right for me onto other victims. It’s an extremely personal choice and I stand beside anyone’s decision to stay in the shadows or come forward. If after the verdict I were to wash my hands of the whole experience, I would not be here writing this. I would leave the pub ban in place lick my wounds and carry on. I knew early on that I could not do that. I would feel like a person walking by a crime in progress and looking the other way. This horrible experience would all be for naught if I didn’t at least try to do something positive.
I strategically planned the launch of my website for March 23, ready or not, knowing that after the verdict on the 24th there was a strong chance that I may want to run off and forget all I have had to endure. Since then I have received many emails from people wanting to share stories and offer assistance and I know now, stopping isn’t an option. Coming forward publicly was part of sealing the deal. I lifted the pub ban to hold myself to the intention I started out with. To help others. This is war. Not war against Jian Ghomeshi but against the flawed system that as they say isn’t broken, it was BUILT this way. It’s in need of a renovation.
My hope is to try and help victims feel they can at the least report a sexual assault and that one day the shaming and blaming will become a thing of the past.