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November-December 2016

What journalists need to know about covering sexual assault

Media is giving more ink than ever to sexual assault coverage. But how do we ensure journalists report with respect?

Blair Mlotek@blairmlo

Today’s media climate is rife with increased—but not necessarily better—reporting on sexual assault and rape. That’s why, in December 2015, Toronto-based organization Femifesto and its collaborators created Use the Right Words, a guide to help journalists report respectfully, progressively, and accurately on stories addressing sexual violence. We sat down with one of the main writers, […] More »
September-October 2016

Rape survivors deserve justice

The government must review how sexual assault cases are handled

Karyn L. Freedman

For our special 50th anniversary issue, Canada’s brightest, boldest, and most rebellious thinkers, doers, and creators share their best big ideas. Through ideas macro and micro, radical and everyday, we present 50 essays, think pieces, and calls to action. Picture: plans for sustainable food systems, radical legislation, revolutionary health care, a greener planet, Indigenous self-government, […] More »
September-October 2016

Healing trauma through comedy

Comedians take heavy subjects and laugh about them to ease the pain. Now, I'm joining them.

Hillary Di Menna@HillaryDiMenna

For our special 50th anniversary issue, Canada’s brightest, boldest, and most rebellious thinkers, doers, and creators share their best big ideas. Through ideas macro and micro, radical and everyday, we present 50 essays, think pieces, and calls to action. Picture: plans for sustainable food systems, radical legislation, revolutionary health care, a greener planet, Indigenous self-government, […] More »

Mustafa Ururyar found guilty of rape

Media and public reaction to verdict says much about how far we have to go when it comes to talking about sexual assault and believing women

Hillary Di Menna

In late July, Mustafa Ururyar was found guilty of sexual assault against Mandi Gray. I have goose bumps just writing that sentence. Justice Marvin Zuker read his decision out loud in court from a 180-page prepared document. He started with recounting both Gray’s and Ururyar’s respective reports as well as relevant cases from Canada’s legal […] More »

Gender Block: Canadian universities and sexual violence

Why do universities have such a laid-back approach to sexual violence on campus? Plus, CBC's documentary School of Secrets

Hillary Di Menna

On Monday night, CBC’s The Fifth Estate streamed the episode School of Secrets (still online). The episode featured Mandi Gray of Toronto’s York University and Glynnis Kirchmeier of the University of British Columbia. Both women have filed human rights complaints against their schools for not responding to reports of sexual assault by alumni. Since her […] More »

Gender Block: Trudeau time

Gender parity in the cabinet is great—but where does our new PM Justin Trudeau stand on other women's rights issues? Hillary Di Menna examines Trudeau's stance on childcare, women's shelters, abortion and more

Hillary Di Menna

Monday October 19 came and went, showing Stephen Harper the door on the way out. Canada’s new Prime Minister is loved, hated, and internationally lusted after apparently (PILF is a thing now, huh). Justin Trudeau, a self-described feminist, talked about women’s rights throughout his campaign; time will tell if the talk goes anywhere. Our new […] More »

Gender Block: rape is still rape even when you like the accused

Why we need to stop victim-blaming and letting celebrities off the hook when they're accused of sexual assault and rape

Hillary Di Menna

Earlier this month LA-based 90s treasure L7 played the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. Named for one of the band’s more famous songs, a “Shit List” was made and displayed in the venue’s women’s bathroom. On this list were names of men who have assaulted women. The list came with extra paper and pens for people to add more […] More »

Gender Block: She Asked For It

Hillary Di Menna

I decided I need to become better at public speaking so I’ve started subjecting myself to the horror of, well, public speaking. I started as a guest speaker at a Durham Rape Crisis Centre volunteer training session, my second and most recent attempt was a literary reading at Oshawa, Ont.’s The LivingRoom Community Art Studio. […] More »

Throwback Thursday: Rape’s Progress

Kelsey Braithwaite

In the last decade, the definition of sexual assault has grown to encompass more hateful or taboo acts. Most Canadians now recognize terms like incest, molestation, pedophilia, rape, and victim blaming. Many people even recognize these words can be a painful trigger to victims. Unfortunately, this does not mean we know the meaning of these […] More »

WTF Wednesday: Charges worst case scenario for Rehtaeh Parsons’ case

Hillary Di Menna

Three days after his daughter’s suicide, Rehtaeh Parsons’ father and professional writer, Glen Canning, published a post on his blog. “[Rehtaeh was] disappointed to death,” he wrote. “Disappointed in people she thought she could trust, her school, and the police.” The post begins with 17 years worth of good things—Parsons love of animals, a box he planned […] More »

WTF Wednesday: Gender role reversals in sexual assault

Catherine McIntyre

Canadian women made headlines this week for some (gender) inappropriate behaviour. On Monday, three girls pleaded not guilty to pimping out other teenage girls in an Ontario based court. Together, they’re accused of using a Facebook and Twitter party ruse to first lure and then force young women into a sex trafficking ring. The Crown […] More »