Last week McGill University student Sarelle Sheldon made the brave decision to get in front of a camera and speak about a rape that had happened to her two years ago.
She recorded an interview with her friend and TV McGill journalist Spencer Macnaughton and spoke about the rape, how the police were slow to investigate her case and why so many people choose to stay quiet about sexual assaults.
"I really feel like silence has that rusty taste of shame. It’s not something I want to hide. I didn’t do something wrong." Sheldon said in the video."I want to speak up because I want other people to speak up about the big things and the little things and because they all matter and they all shouldn’t happen."
Sheldon, who was raped after a drug was slipped into her drink, also called out the police for not taking her case seriously and dragging their feet in the investigation.
"I didn’t feel like they were there to try to find someone. I felt like they were looking for ways that it might’ve been something I did wrong," she said.
“I vividly remember sitting in my bed (the day after) and calling the cops and it was like a joke to them,” she told the Montreal Gazette. The rape also forced Sheldon to drop out of McGill for a semester and Sheldon said she had difficulty speaking about the experience to many of her friends.
"I was lying to half the people that I was still in school," Sheldon explained in the video. "I didn’t want to seem like a victim or a survivor to everybody," she said.
But Sheldon said it was the recent suicide of teenager Rehtaeh Parsons, who was allegedly raped by a group of classmates, that compelled her to speak out. "“I chose to speak up because Rehtaeh Parsons was one death too many,” Sheldon also said to the Gazette. “I want to be able to give a voice to rape survivors.”
Sheldon's moving interview seems to have caught some attention on the internet. Canada.com reported that the video has more than 11,000 views on Tuesday.