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I Believe Survivors

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VALIDATION DAY

  “I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS” “RAPE IT WAS” says Judge Zuker. He has found Mustafa Ururyar guilty of raping Mandi Gray in January 2015. Mandi Gray and I both came to the Old City Hall courthouse on February 1, 2016, but at the time we did not know each other. We were both starting our sexual assault trials and both in cross examination on the same day. A day we both want to forget but won’t, as...

APPARENTLY RAPE IS A CAREER BUILDER

  Today, once again I stood with the sisterhood of survivors on the old city hall steps holding signs in support of sexual assault survivors. Today our survivor in court was Mandi Gray. This is starting to feel like a second home to me and right now this is where I belong. Flash mobs, rallies, supporting survivors in court, conferences, blogs, bring it on because I will be there. Today was my second time watching the Mandi Gray trial. I...

“THE CLEAREST PATH TO THE TRUTH” warning may be triggering

  May 11, 2016, a day I’ll never forget. I started May 11, 2016 with very mixed emotions. The impending peace bond with rumours of a possible apology. I wasn’t certain how I felt but the initial internal screaming was hard to ignore. I came to the court to hold signs and stand with my sisters in support of survivors. The inference was that the crown had once again thrown in the towel with no faith in his witness. Was...

If she’s unable to consent, it’s rape. Warning – may be triggering

At the time I did not realize it was rape. I was 19. It was the night of a Halloween party. I drank two bottles of cheap wine and was chatting with one of my friends. I think I sat on his lap at one point. He asked me to come home with him to try his vaporizer. We walked to his place. We smoked a lot of weed. I remember asking him if I could sleep in his bed...

I’m Coming Forward

  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...

Renee’s Truth

My story began almost 30 years ago during an overnight at my best friends’ camp on one of the Finger Lakes in Central New York. I was 19 years old and with 10 friends I had known most of my life. I rode to the camp with my best friend and her husband, who was in the Navy. They now lived out of town but were here while he was home on leave. When we got to the camp, my...

The Trials of Life

It’s been quite the journey.  I’ve learned so much from this through the good, bad, indifferent and enlightened people I have engaged with about a very controversial subject.  What stands out are the lessons learned, particularly on how we collectively agree or disagree on a topic that raises many emotions. It has never been my desire to have everyone on my side.  We always need the devil’s advocate to help keep our views in check.  What I didn’t  foresee was...

What I Wish I’d Known Before Testifying In The Ghomeshi Trial

In November of 2014, a Toronto mother of two walked into a police station to tell officers that Jian Ghomeshi had assaulted her. She did so after learning two things: 1) She wasn’t the only woman the former CBC radio host allegedly hurt, and 2) There was no statute of limitations on her claim that he had yanked her hair without warning in December 2002 and again in January 2003 before delivering two blows to the side of her head....

Real Justice Would Give Sexual Assault Victims a Real Voice and Real Choice

At the Jian Ghomeshi trial, everything unfolded as it “should.” Prodigiously talented legal commandos for the defence reduced the prosecution’s case to a smouldering ruin. Then, the judge – by current convention a mere observer of the carnage – stated what legal observers had been describing as obvious in his final ruling: The evidence did not meet the standard for criminal conviction. This meant the accused walked away, wearing the legally indisputable (but, for some, ill-fitting) cloak of innocence, and...