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Coming Forward

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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...

Healing through improv with some Fantastic Funny Femmes

By Hillary Di Menna There is a lot of talk around mindfulness in the mental health game. I always wrote it off as an extra chore: meditate, take baths with smelly stuff, eat almonds, and you’re cured! Mindfulness seems like another thing to make me feel guilty after failing doing it right. However, when my best bud told me she and her fellow comedian pals were hosting a day of workshops – including one on mindfulness – I signed up...

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...

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...

SECRET LIFE – book review unabridged version

  by Linda Christina Redgrave   It was with great reservation that I decided to read and review the book, Secret Life the Jian Ghomeshi investigation, by Kevin Donovan. My first encounter with this book was in Indigo quickly skimming to the parts pertaining to myself, and hesitantly looking with one eye closed. This was not something I cared to relive or revisit through someone else’s words but there was a curiosity nagging at me that I couldn’t ignore. After...

A “thing”

by anonymous Content warning for childhood sexual assault: So, here goes. When I was 10 years old I was sitting inside the bedroom of my best friend’s older brother, who was 13 at the time. Also present was the best friend, and another friend of mine, who was 8 at the time. Why were we in his room? I don’t remember exactly. I just remember the sense I had at the time that he was cool. Cool in the sense...

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...

Why Judge Zuker’s Verdict was Just

By Stephanie Stella R v Ururyar ended in a landmark conviction on July 21st, 2016. (For those of you keeping score at home, this is nearly four months to the day after Ghomeshi’s disastrous case ended in acquittal.) This case was initially noted as significant, because (to quote the complainant, Mandi Gray) it was a case where the court “did what they were supposed to do,” which is surprisingly rare in sex assault cases. Since then, the backlash has been...