5 Ways to Say #WeBelieveSurvivors on March 24th

On Thursday, March 24th, the verdict in the Jian Ghomeshi sexual assault trial will be delivered. Join us in solidarity to support the women who bravely testified, the countless others who could not go to the police, and people who have lived through sexual violence in our communities. Let’s create a space to remind ourselves and others impacted by sexual violence that we believe, support, and love survivors. No matter the outcome of the trial, we support people who have lived through violence.

Five Ways You Can Get Involved on the Day of the Verdict, Thursday March 24th 2016

  1. Post Selfies to Support Survivors online on March 24th with the hashtag #IBelieveSurvivors or #WeBelieveSurvivors. Show survivors that they are not alone. Show the world that we don’t believe victim blaming and myths about sexual violence; We believe survivors. Let’s flood social media with messages of love and support for survivors! For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/190664507966931/
  2. Host a Self Care Crafternoon in your Community to create spaces to collectively come together. We’ll bring the crafts, you bring the feelings. We have a FREE PDF of “We Believe You” A Colouring Book for Survivors & Supports for you to use. Email farrah.khan@ryerson.ca for your copy.  Take a peek at a example event: https://www.facebook.com/events/975489709199325/

In the Toronto Area!

  1. Join Rally & March at Old City Hall 60 Queen Street West, Toronto Thursday March 24 6-8 pm. Family friendly event, all genders welcome. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1190762947600867/
  2. Participate in Court Solidarity on March 24th with a Creative Intervention at 8:00 am – 10 am at Old Old City Hall 60 Queen Street West. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/361628807341066/
  3. Most importantly Check in with the Survivors in Your Life By:
    • Practicing community care: Check in with people around you, follow their lead and ask what they need. Maybe it’s a Beyonce dance party, dropping off a meal, or sending pictures of cute animals. Don’t make assumptions, LISTEN. They may not want to talk at all, you can hold space, not talk.
    • Being Prepared: People you care about might disclose that they are survivors of sexual violence be it harassment, assault or rape. Listen, believe, remind them it’s not their fault, that they have the right to be safe and they are not alone. You can share resources i.e. Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, Assaulted Women’s Helpline, Fem’aide, Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
    • Respecting Boundaries: People may not want to talk about the trial or about sexual violence at all. It’s not survivors job to educate you on sexual violence myths or share information about what we were subjected to. Do your own homework on the issues.

This is a Collaboration Between:

– Canadian Federation of Students, Ontario

– Centre for Women and Trans People, Ryerson University

– Centre for Women and Trans People, UTSC

– Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education, Ryerson University

– Sacha Hamilton: Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area)

– Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Multicultural Women Against Rape.

– York University Federation of Students

Questions? Want to list your event or to endorse rally & march please email ovse@ryerson.ca

The Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime offers support, research and education to survivors and stakeholders.

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My name is Donna McCully.

It was always our wish to live in Jamaica in our dream home. So, in August 2012, my husband Sedrick Levine and I left Canada to move into our new home. We were thrilled to finally be starting the next chapter in our lives, in Sedrick’s beloved homeland. He bought a little bus and planned to operate tours for visitors to the island. I was helping him run this business venture, as part of our semi- retirement in Jamaica.

My life as I knew it was suddenly shattered when two masked men broke into our home on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Sedrick struggled with the men, allowing me to flee upstairs to call the police. His actions saved my life that day, and that of my father and his housekeeper, who were visiting us at the time. One of the masked intruders chased me upstairs and kicked in the bathroom door, but he stopped when he heard a gunshot from downstairs.

My husband Sedrick was killed that day and the men fled our home with a laptop. The Jamaican police have not yet found these men or charged them with killing my beloved husband. Their motive remains unknown.

This crime has completely changed my life. I suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder now and have depression as a result. I came back to Canada, but I feel very isolated since this happened. These emotional scars may never heal.

I managed to find the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime by searching online one day. I didn’t know where to turn for help when I came home to Canada. The CRCVC has provided me with a lot of emotional support, which has been tremendously helpful. They’ve also written numerous letters to Jamaican officials seeking justice for Sedrick, as well as intervening with Canadian officials on my behalf. The office also helped connect me to a trauma therapist for counselling sessions too.

In order to try and make sense of what happened to Sedrick, it is my hope that others could support the work of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime. There are so many other victims/survivors out there who also need their assistance.