JUSTICE FOR SURVIVORS OF POLICE SEXUAL ASSAULT
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We stand again together, united to challenge the victim blaming, slut shaming and further perpetuation of rape myths that Toronto Police division 51 has participated in.
Joshua Cabero, 28, Leslie Nyznik, 38, and Sameer Kara, 31—have all pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and gang sexual assault and were being represented by three separate attorneys at the same trial. They were cleared of all charges and found not guilty.
TW: These are the horrific details of this gang sexual assault. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/exk88j/court-documents-reveal-horrific-allegations-in-toronto-police-gang-rape-case
This brave survivor spoke out against three colleagues that WE pay to serve and protect us, not serve and protect themselves. This is not the first case of sexual assault and sexual violence against a police officer in the City of Toronto, nor is it the first case we have seen lead to a "not guilty charge."
Are survivors lying or to blame? Or is our system broken, skewed in the favour of those with power, those with privilege, those for whom the system was built?
Did you know?
If a victim doesn’t report the assault that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Fewer than one in ten victims report the crime to the police.
Trauma, shock, fear, embarrassment and distress can all impair memory. Many survivors attempt to minimize or forget the details of the assault as a way of coping with trauma. Memory loss is also common when alcohol and/or drugs are involved.
Women were 10 times more likely than men to be victims of a police-reported sexual assault.
Sexual assault is the only violent crime in Canada that is not declining. Since 1999, rates of sexual assault have remained relatively unchanged.
Understanding consent plays a key role in understanding what constitutes sexual assault. Without consent, any sexual contact is sexual assault. Consent needs to be enthusiastic and ongoing. It is given with a clear “yes”, affirmative words, and positive body language.
Based on the Canadian legal definition, consent cannot be given in a situation that involves an abuse of trust, power or authority. Anyone who is unconscious cannot legally give consent.
Of the survivors in the Global/Ipsos Reid poll who did report a sexual assault to police, 71% said the experience was negative.
Studies suggest that when women of colour report violence, particularly rape, their experiences are often taken less seriously within the criminal justice system.
There is a belief that it is common for women to falsely report sexual assault. But a review of various international research on false reporting of sexual assault suggests that false reporting happens in 2% to 8% of cases.
We know the horrific details, she was brave enough, admits the intense pressure of cross examination and humiliation from her peers, to stand against these three perpetrators. We know the stats, we know that it happened, WE BELIEVE HER.
Yet, Justice Molloy, has said the following “Although the slogan ‘Believe the victim’ has become popularized of late, it has no place in a criminal trial," She said “the assumption that sexual-assault complainants tell the truth imposes a presumption of guilt on the accused."
do we not know that only 2 to 8 % of claims are false yet only 3-6% of sexual assault charges lead to conviction.
We also know that sexual assault is not declining. We also know that many survivors refuse to report to the police, large in part to our broken system but also because of the police themselves
We have the information, we have the stats, we (sadly) have the lived experience, we have the solutions and we have the voice.
We, The Dandelion Initiative, a grassroots collective, for survivors of sexual assault by survivors of sexual assault are making the following recommendations:
- We demand that John Tory step down from the TP board, this has been an ongoing conflict of interest and creates further bias representation for the people of the city of Toronto.
- We demand from The TPS sexual assault advisory committee that the motion received by the Toronto Police Services Board in on June April 16 2009 regarding the Sexual Assault Advisory Committee (SAAC) be passed to ensure transparency in the judicial process for victims. by publicizing the member names, agendas, as well as information on and how to become a member of the committee be posted on the board's Board's website.
- We demand that 51 division representatives meet with The Dandelion Initiative and our partners to explain their plans or commitment to including survivor’s voices/knowledge around sexual assault reporting and processes.
- We demand that 51 division update their website with relevant information about sexual assault and sexual assault statistics delivered from a knowledgeable and survivor run organization here in Toronto.
- We demand to have publicized the trauma informed, anti oppressive, training TPS 51 division will receive, with an emphasis on PTSD and drug facilitated sexual assault.
STAND WITH US, UNITED TOGETHER, WE WILL NEVER BE SILENCED.
"A dandelion can grow through concrete, against all odds, and so shall we."
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Viktoria Belle, Founder and Coordinator and The Dandelion Initiative Board.
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