While some of you may feel the Jian Ghomeshi verdict is sooooo last week (literally and figuratively), it’s taken me a couple of days to let everything sink in.
First there was the frustration with the verdict.
Second there was the need to understand how that verdict came to be. Let me tell you folks, it’s a lost day when you don’t learn something new. And in that spirit, I present to you:
THE 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM THE GHOMESHI TRIAL
If I ever find myself in the terrifying position of testifying in my own Sexual Assault case, there are some key points I will need to remember if I want a successful outcome from the legal process and the Court of Public Opinion.
- “Justice” System is a bit of a misnomer in this case. Let’s go with “The Courts”. Our laws make it rather daunting for victims of Sexual Assault to come forward.
- Although more women have come forward to report their own sexual assaults following the exposure of this case, critics say it will take many more women to report sexual assault before the standards change. THAT’S encouraging. Can we get some more outrage brewing out here ladies?
- I have to depict myself as being sexually worldly, but not a “freak”, and certainly not a puritan. I will have to be comfortable talking about sex, but I better not make other people uncomfortable when I do it. (Note to self – look up definition of “Slut Shaming”.)
- I can’t show that I own or enjoy my own sexuality. Remember, it’s up to other people to objectify women, but we cannot be seen as using our bodies for that very same outcome. (Note to self – make sure to delete all photos where I’m wearing a bathing suit. Both of them.)
- I cannot allow myself to contact the accused following the alleged incident. After all, no one would reach out to this person again, right? I’m not entitled to demand clarification? Explanation? Frustration? I will have to hope I’m never in the same line of work, social circle, family, etc. so I don’t have to interact with him. ‘Cause I’m not supposed to.
- I need to become an expert on automobiles. No one likes to be called a liar because they cannot remember the type of car the accused drove at the time of the incident.
- Same goes for houses, geography, cuisine, fashion, public transit. Basically EVERYTHING. If you can’t answer with authority, you must be fabricating.
- Don’t look like a know it all. You will look rehearsed and convey that you are trapping the accused. Yes, I realize this conflicts with #7 – deal with it.
- Never forget anything I have told others about this incident. This includes, but is not limited to: police, family, friends, colleagues, other victims. Again, basically EVERYONE. Additionally – make sure I commit all social media and electronic communications to memory so that it doesn’t look like misleading police or the courts. I will have to have the world’s greatest recall, without looking like I was deliberately creating the evidence and framing the accused.
- Understand that even though one of the hardest things I will ever do is to come forward to police to discuss one of the most intimate, and therefore traumatizing events of my life, that I will be dissected, insulted, maligned, vilified, labeled, scrutinized, criticized, objectified and ostracized. And the alleged attacker with never have to utter a word to defend his actions.
“Innocent until proven guilty.” Who? Of what?