Sexual Abuse

We Can't Stop Violence Against Women If We Love Celebrity Abusers

Sandra Hawken Diaz | Posted 11.25.2014 | Canada Living
Sandra Hawken Diaz

Sure there are stars who saw temporary road bumps in their career for their publicized violence against women like Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, Chris Brown, Tommy Lee, Ike Turner, Bobby Brown and Nicholas Cage. But most of them bounced back and continue to have devoted fans. What message does that send to women who have been abused? That their life is not as important as a great film or song or game or show? What does it say about each of us that we likely have admitted to appreciating the talent of at least one famous abuser?

Let's Prevent Harassment By Ending the Reign of 'Nice'

Clare Beckton | Posted 11.24.2014 | Canada Living
Clare Beckton

It is time to end the reign of "nice" and to recognize that both men and women suffer from this tyranny of harassment and feelings of powerlessness. If women try to be nice to avoid problems and disruption of relationships, men may misunderstand and continue the harassment or it may embolden them to continue, not fearing any consequences for their actions.

Disbelief Is Rape Culture's Strongest Ally

Olivia Collette | Posted 11.11.2014 | Canada Living
Olivia Collette

It's normal that we don't want to believe the absolute worst about ourselves, but until we come to terms with how we create and participate in what we are, we can't possibly expect to correct any injustices.

I Am a Liberal and I Do Not Approve of Lena Dunham's Actions

Angela Hartlin | Posted 11.07.2014 | Canada Living
Angela Hartlin

Examining her very words unveils very destructive, manipulative, and sometimes sadistic behaviours that are, in my opinion, alarming. The controversial sexual abuse she may or may not have inflicted on her sister is what's making the headlines, not the blatant control issues she has and a lack of boundaries she exhibits with her sister. The focus should not about left or right but more about wrong or right.

Why We Need To Remove the Stigma Around Men Who Seek Therapy

Carlen Costa | Posted 11.17.2014 | Canada Living
Carlen Costa

I started by telling you about my own experience in the world of abuse. I did this because those experiences are what helped me understand the importance of healing in light of a frightening situation. These women -- our sisters -- need our support and understanding to heal. But we cannot forget the men. At some point we are going to have to turn around and help heal this man. Many will think he is undeserving, but he too experienced trauma in his life which he has had to cope with. I'm not talking about forgiveness, I'm talking about compassion.

What Mothers Need To Teach Their Sons About Sex

Sue Nador | Posted 11.02.2014 | Canada Living
Sue Nador

The Ghomeshi story is a very good reminder about the role mothers need to play in educating our sons early and often about sex and relationships. While both parents share responsibility for sex education, I think there are some areas in which moms have more street credibility.

Even As a Rape Survivor, I Was Swayed by Celebrity Status Before Knowing the Facts

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 10.30.2014 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

What I find most shocking is that even though I am a survivor of rape and childhood sexual abuse, I was so easily swayed by the aura of power, prestige, and celebrity, as I quickly passed judgment before all of the facts have come out.

Pray for the Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls

Debbie Wolfe | Posted 07.10.2014 | Canada
Debbie Wolfe

With every day that passes, the Nigerian schoolgirls could be moving further into dangerous territory of all kinds. Exploitation like the kinds they may be facing can have intensely disturbing effects on a child's social, emotional cognitive and spiritual well-being -- as well as their long-term development.

Don't Let Speaking Out Be a Taboo

Mina Mawani | Posted 07.01.2014 | Canada Living
Mina Mawani

How is it that we live in a culture where speaking out is still taboo? A culture where so many blame victims for their own abuse. Where women are afraid to report or seek assistance because they worry that they will not be believed? But today and every day, I choose not to be heartbroken.

A Letter To Proud Men Who Think "No" Means "Yes"

Eternity E Martis | Posted 04.08.2014 | Canada Living
Eternity E Martis

Dear proud men who have taken a woman's "No" to sexual activity, touching, or intercourse as a "Yes" instead of respecting her wishes; to men who have...

How To Undermine a Rape Victim: Woody Allen Edition

Anne Theriault | Posted 04.06.2014 | Canada Living
Anne Theriault

Do not treat the victim as if they are a person with agency and thoughts and feelings. Tell yourself that it's rational and logical to want to know all sides of the story, though you never want to know the other side, the perpetrator's side, when your house is broken into or your wallet is stolen or your child is hit by a car. Tell yourself that we can never know for sure what happened and since a man's life can be destroyed by accusations of rape, it's best to err on the side of caution. Do not think about the girl whose life was destroyed when she was seven. Above all, never, ever, ever think about the ways that you might be complicit in this.

The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan Reveals Childhood Sexual Abuse

HuffPost Canada Music | Jason MacNeil | Posted 11.14.2013 | Canada Music

The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan has revealed she was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. The singer told the Irish Independent the abuse took ...

To Commit to Losing Weight, You Must Be in Control

Arya M. Sharma, MD | Posted 12.11.2013 | Canada Living
Arya M. Sharma, MD

Recently I saw Betty* in my clinic. She is 44 years old and never had a "weight problem" till her eight-year-old only son met with a fatal road accident. That was 12 years ago. Since then she has steadily gained almost 10 pounds a year, which is why she is now 120 pounds heavier than she was at 32.

I Was Groomed to Love Street Harassment

Shannon Fisher | Posted 11.17.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Shannon Fisher

I grew up being catcalled. I was groomed to believe it was a compliment I should enjoy. Though it vibrated uncomfortable, I looked for it on days I felt especially unpretty. Women are told, not just by men, but by other women to lighten up. "Oh please! Someone whistles at you, roll with it; it's a compliment. Someone thinks you're hot!" Powerlessness is key here. Especially when our culture generally continues to see street harassment as a non-issue. 

Why Canadians Should Reject The Russell Williams Crime Movie

Obert Madondo | Posted 10.22.2013 | Canada
Obert Madondo

This week, the American made-for-TV movie about the Russell Williams murders will make it Canadian television debut. An Officer and a Murderer is a movie only someone steeped in profit-motivated amnesia could make. It's sensationalistic. A pervasive kind of entertainment. It glorifies violence against Canadian women. It stains the good honour of Canadian women and men in uniform.

What Would You Do if Your Spouse Was Your Rapist?

Lawrence D. Elliott | Posted 08.11.2013 | Canada Living
Lawrence D. Elliott

This week, I had a drink with a very good friend. He's currently in a relationship with a wonderful woman whose ex-husband, the father of her children also happens to be the man who raped and brutally sodomized her for the last four years of their nine-year marriage. No one believed the story of her ordeal. No one in her family. Not one of her friends. Disbelief is a cruel after-effect of rape. It's also the trump card of the rapist. The burden is all too often placed on the victim, not the perpetrator. And when it's a spouse, he knows how to make the victim feel so worthless, guilty and low, that she'll avoid doing what is necessary.

One Issue Pro-Lifers and Pro-Choicers Might Agree On

Julie Mannell | Posted 07.27.2013 | Canada Living
Julie Mannell

Bodily autonomy doesn't just refer to the freedom to have an abortion, it also refers to the freedom from unwanted acts against the body -- including forced pregnancy. For once I think there could be an issue where pro-life and pro-choice supporters can ally, but for some strange reason it seems no one is talking about it.

Evil Exists, But It Will Not Always Triumph!

Donald D'Haene | Posted 06.17.2013 | Canada Living
Donald D'Haene

I knew several things. That I would finally meet my sister. And finally, confirmation of what I had known for two decades: my sister was also sexually abused by our father. Knowing something to be true and finally staring truth in the face is overwhelming. I would never feel the same as I did before that Wednesday morning.

The Conservatives: Tough on Crime, Soft on Violence Against Women

Hélène Laverdière | Posted 05.07.2013 | Canada Politics
Hélène Laverdière

Every six days a Canadian woman is killed by her partner. As of 2010, there were 582 known cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Globally, one in three women will be a victim of violence -- being raped, beaten or abused in her lifetime. In some parts of the world a girl is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read. But women have taken a backseat to the government's other priorities.We could certainly be doing more to help women who are suffering from HIV/AIDS, which in many cases in the developing world results from rape.

Toronto Women Join A Worldwide Phenomenon

CBC | Posted 04.16.2013 | Canada Impact

A group of Torontonians gathered in Nathan Phillips Square Thursday, not to celebrate Valentine's Day, but to unite to bring an end to violence agains...

Know A Woman Who's Been Abused? You're Far From Alone

Sandra Hawken Diaz | Posted 02.11.2013 | Canada
Sandra Hawken Diaz

I wasn't prepared for 67 per cent. According to a new survey released today by the Canadian Women's Foundation, that's the percentage of Canadians who personally know a woman who's been physically or sexually abused. Imagine what that number would be if the silence ended.

67% Of Canadians Know A Woman Who Has Experienced Abuse

The Huffington Post Canada | Posted 12.11.2012 | Canada Living

Just days after the 23rd anniversary of the Montreal Massacre and National Day of Action on Violence Against Women, a new study shows that Canada stil...

What is the True Measure of a Man?

Donald D'Haene | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Donald D'Haene

One of my childhoods was happy. The B&W movies projected on our small TV screen, more often than not, contradicted the drama I was living in my own home movie reels. But there were exceptions. In fact, the images of our television's B&W movies were very real to me. Sidney Poitier was one of those images, and thankfully, he made repeat appearances.

Dorothy Sandusky Is Just as Much a Monster

Lydia Lovric | Posted 08.26.2012 | Canada
Lydia Lovric

Evil can come in many forms, even the gentle grey softness of a grandmother like Dottie Sandusky.That monsters like Jerry Sandusky exist is a sad reality. Sadder still is the women who protect these men. Is it possible that this woman had absolutely no idea of the atrocities being committed in her own home? Dorothy Sandusky owes the world an apology.

Watching the Watchdog: Journalism's Complicit Role in Sexual Abuse

Tim Knight | Posted 07.14.2012 | Canada
Tim Knight

Last Sunday came yet another T.V. documentary detailing alleged abuse of young boys by Roman Catholic priests. As a journalist I investigated all sorts of stories about abuse of power. But, to my shame, it never occurred to me to investigate those rumours I'd heard so many years before about sexual abuse and the Catholic church in Newfoundland and Labrador.