By Phillip Millar

In watching the recent developments in the trial of former CBC radio presenter, Jian Ghomeshi, I have drawn up some lessons that I feel are valuable for anyone seeking to take their perpetrators to trial.

  1. VICTIMS TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THEIR NARRATIVE                                                              
    1.  Each story is unique, all are not created equal.
    2. We support each other, but we don’t let this turn into blind advocacy.
    3. Our strength is rooted in credibility and passion.
  2. ASSERTION DOES NOT EQUAL BELIEF WITHOUT QUESTION
    1. Be aware that the desire to advocate unilaterally for all can undermine the cause.
    2. There are those using the system, the social landscape and your trauma for their own interests.
    3. The challenge is to provide a safe place for sharing stories, yet balance this with scrutiny before we put our credibility in line with a case.
    4. Very tough to balance, but support groups are great places for unilateral support, yet court case are not.
  3. PREPARATION IS KEY, IT IS JUVENILE TO THINK IT SHOULD BE EASY
    1. Friends are not effective advocates.
    2. Knowledge and competence is power.
    3. Know what you are getting into.
    4. Is it a battle worth fighting?
  4. LYING IS NOT A SYMPTOM OF TRAUMA, CONFUSED MEMORY MAY BE
    1. Avoid victim mentality in public cases.
    2. Sometimes people misuse the system.
    3. Don’t take it too far and demand from society and the public and the system things they cannot provide.
  5. THERE ARE SCALABLE OPTIONS, DO NOT BE USED BY SPECIAL INTERESTS GROUPS, HAVE A STRONG ADVOCATE SEPARATE FROM IDEOLOGICAL AGENDAS
    1. Do not be used.
    2. Do not get caught up in the cause,
    3. Sometimes you need to be grounded by solid advice from someone not trying to be your friend, but from someone who can be your advocate.

 

If you have been a victim of sexual assault and seek counselling of any sort, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.