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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 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.

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Babs

    Hi Linda,

    I just want to reach out to you and say a few things. First of all, I find you very courageous to have gone through the trial and come out on the other side wanting to help others. I find your actions commendable and will hopefully help change the antiquated judicial system that is before us now.

    I believe your story as do most people including the trial judge, which is so ironic and frustrating because of the acquittal. However, I feel like on some level justice was served and a light was shone not only on Ghomeshi’s dark actions, but also on a cruel and outdated court system. I know Ghomeshi, his lawyer and the judge are not the same after this experience. They have been tormented by their conscience and the court of public opinion, which in my mind is very positive as we all live together in society. The public see beyond the limitations of the judicial system and are calling for change.

    I hope you can move forward and continue to take care of yourself. You are an agent of change in the world and can stand proud and strong.

    You have the support of your sisters at Femen and on their website. Canadians are behind you.
    Forget the haters that might take primitive pleasure in expressing misogynistic opinions on the Internet and stand tall and free. It’s your time to shine.

  2. Reply

    Cheryl

    Hi Linda

    Yes. The justice system is barbaric. Somehow the victims are vilified to the point of attempting suicide. What kept you going? I wish I had gone to a lawyer before I went to police. You are absolutely correct that the first contact needs to change. If you would like to compare notes please contact me in confidence.

  3. Reply

    Janni Styles

    I applaud you coming forward and hope as your numbers increase that we can all work together to fix our very flawed legal system. As one who worked with victims of domestic violence as well as endured it in my own marriage of 32 years which I left several years ago, I understand both sides of the coin. There is a great need, in my observation, to claim that everything is done to the letter of the law in court and it may well be. But traumatized human beings need to be considered and understood before, in my opinion, any letter of the law is even applied. I believe that unless and until those of us suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) are fairly and properly understood, there can be no justice. Just the sound of his voice in court, or the sight of him set my mind whirling, made me feel nauseous and the stuttering and shaking, full body tremors, would start. How can any fairness be exacted when the “playing field” is so unbalanced, I do not believe it can be. Most of my journey in that horribly abusive zone is behind me but I still have a ways to go and may never get proper or full closure. The last judge in my situation saw through the lies, struck much from the other side and ruled in my favor for spousal support but he cries the blues every month about paying me a well below poverty amount even though his own lawyer told him he got off easy. Some days I feel free and peaceful. But they are rare days as I am easily triggered by any dealings with or in relation to him. I don’t see that feeling ever going away. Wishing you much success, perhaps I’ll submit my full story anonymously to you one of these days.

  4. Reply

    LC - Coming Forward

    You are stronger than you know. Keep going. I’d love to hear your story whenever you are ready.
    LC

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