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One year after Jian Ghomeshi’s acquittal, I’m keeping the conversation going

by Linda Christina Redgrave photo by Paul Salvatori Photography It’s been a year since I took my final police escorted ride to hear Judge Horkins deliver the verdict for the Jian Ghomeshi trial. Lucy, witness number 3 (still under publication ban) and I gathered in the VWAP room accompanied by lawyers and friends to hear the outcome of this much publicized trial. Although I was never invested in the outcome, the suspense was getting to me and everyone else in...

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...

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...

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A RAPE CRISIS CENTRE

  THE ROLE OF A RAPE CRISIS CENTRE The role of a rape crisis centre was unknown to me as it is to most people. The name seems to indicate the services are exclusive to rape, but that is far from the case. I recently sat down with Dionne Newton of the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre- Multicultural Women Against Rape, to get a better idea of the role they play in helping survivors of sexual assault and to share that...

Donna Bell’s Trial…it’s about time.

WARNING… Triggering content.  Childhood sexual abuse. In June 2016, Donna Bell, a native Scarborough, Ontario resident currently living in B.C., took the stand against her childhood abuser, Tom Furiano.  It was an historical case that took place 40 years ago. He was her drum and bugle corps instructor.  Donna discovered much later that the other kids referred to him as Chester, Chester the child molester.  Although he was twice Donna’s age, married and father of two, Furiano took 13 year...

THE EMANCIPATION OF COMING FORWARD

  After going through the process of our mythical justice system and all its gendered sexism and slippery rape shield laws, I felt great relief to reach the other side of the trial and be done.  My focus quickly became my website.   It was my way of healing and keeping with my intention to help others going through the system. Shortly after Coming Forward’s launch, my project was quickly halted with many confusing reasons for all the roadblocks and false...

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...