In Halifax, the Crown is appealing a judge’s decision that a woman can consent to sex even when unconscious.
In Toronto, the convicted rapist, Mustafa Ururyar, is appealing his conviction in a case that raises important perspectives on the nature of legal support and restitution for the costs associated with being sexually assaulted.
Across the country, the voices of survivors are loud enough to be heard telling authorities clearly that they will not be silenced when the law uses outdated and discriminatory stereotypes to try their claims. Or when a rare restitution order is challenged on shakey grounds.
That is why we have chosen to intervene in the Ururyar case in Ontario (Application Record of the Proposed Intervener and Ururyar Factum).
I agree with Jackie Stevens, the executive director of the Halifax Sexual Assault Centre, who has stated publicly that we need to work collectively to “address the law, polices,” attitudes and barriers that make this crime like no other .
We need to address the impunity that surrounds this crime, and support women’s activism and empower women’s voices to be heard. Moreover, we need to properly support the community-based legal, counselling and other support services that women have to turn to while the criminal system continues to fail them.