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Night terrors

By Mona Korstanje CW Childhood abuse, neglect, childhood sexual violence, rape, depression, PTSD Mona lived through a lifetime of abuse, but is finally in the loving relationships we all deserve. This is only a portion of my life. I am a prime example of abuse and trauma. My brother was born just two weeks after I turned a year old. He was born without kidneys and my mother spent all day long caring for this newborn. When he was two...

R v Dewey and what makes the ‘perfect rape’

Columnist Stephanie Stella writes about R v Dewey and its rare outcome. CW rape, sexual assault On May 23, 2017, Jeffrey Dewey went on trial for one count of sexual assault, and one count of impersonation of a police officer. His victim was a complete stranger – my friend, who I will refer to as CMD. On September 11, 2016, CMD was sitting by herself on the Toronto corner of College and Spadina. She was waiting to meet a friend,...

Thoughts the evening before an appeal

An opinion piece by Stephanie Stella Mandi Gray was raped in January 2015. Her attacker, Mustafa Ururyar, was convicted of his crime on July 21, 2016. The conviction was appealed. Tomorrow, July 20, 2017, the conviction will be overturned, and sent back to retrial. I can say this with near-certainty.The only part of me saying otherwise is my subconscious stubbornly clinging to the blind hope for a miracle. It’s the same as one feels when they hope that they will...

She Asked For It: A Poem

By Hillary Di Menna It seems so obvious to the outsider, get hurt, you go. And that’s what makes them outsiders: the dichotomy of you and them. So when that person makes those fists – just like dad used to make – and they tell you it isn’t just you and them, it is the two of you against the world, that’s all you got. White trash can’t get hurt. As Other, they can not feel. The beatings and mockery...

I took my body back

By Noreen Cauley CW rape, sexual violence Hi, this is the first time I’ve ever written publicly about my experiences with childhood sexual abuse, rape, and trauma. I’ve talked about it with people – therapists, friends, family – I even gave a speech at Take Back the Night. I’ve never written about it before though. I’m all about being brave, and if you’re a survivor – I know you are too. Six years ago I started litigation against the man...

My rape was a ‘non-issue’

Anonymous submission CW rape, domestic violence, intimate partner violence It was before shelters for battered women existed or laws to protect rape victims. The attitude was, “What did you do to deserve this?”  These are words said to me by police in the early 1970s.  I had a roof over my head and food to eat, I should be grateful: words also spoken to me by the police.  One would never expect that in the United States a woman still...

A Compassionate New Year

by Linda Christina Redgrave 2016, a year I will never forget. My takeaway from 2016 was that I needed to learn how to be more compassionate with myself. Self compassion was not something I practised and was a concept that felt foreign to me. To survive the events of the past year, I needed to at the least be open to the idea of showing myself more compassion and less criticism. For the many people who are also going through...

If you are anything like me…

A story about reporting. Warning may be triggering by anonymous If you go to the police about your rape you will spend 5 hours at the police station. You will tell a man about your rape and he will try to relate to you and build a relationship with you even though everything you say will be used by the defense against you if it goes to trial. A room of mostly men will watch your interview and decide if...

THE BREATHE NETWORK – Trauma Informed Healing

The Breathe Network is a nonprofit organization that connects survivors of sexual violence with trauma-informed, sliding scale, holistic healing arts practitioners across the United States and Canada.  We provide training and education for healing arts practitioners in understanding the impacts of sexual violence and how to deliver trauma-informed care within their practice. We are innovators in the movement to end sexual violence and our approach to addressing the impacts of sexual violence on the body, mind and soul, is both...

Let’s Talk About Sexual Assault: a Confessional of Sorts I Guess

by Mira El Hussein If you haven’t guessed by the title, this is going to be about sexual assault (surprise!). Much like the rest of my life, it’ll probably be quite messy and emotional at times- and since the only way I can cope with difficult topics is through a series of poorly timed jokes, this will also be full of those. I’ve always been pretty quiet about my own experiences with this topic. Of course, I did my duty...