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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...