Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) responds to recent developments in the Ghomeshi case: 

In 2014, when allegations of violence against women were first brought against Jian Ghomeshi, many responded with disbelief: but as disclosures about Ghomeshi from women piled up[1], a different reflection began.

The disclosures sparked important conversations in the public about the prevalence of unreported sexual assault in Canada. It also questioned the adequacy of the criminal justice system, and the many reasons why survivor-victims do not report —or in many cases, tell anyone at all. Survivors of sexual violence agreed, sharing their stories about the limitations of the criminal justice system and the enormous barriers that survivor-victims face. 

This week, we have learned that Ghomeshi will avoid a second sex assault trial in June 2016 by signing a peace bond, and the charges will be dropped.

We are not in any way surprised by this development in the Ghomeshi case. On the contrary, we acknowledge that our current system is rife with problems that do not make the court process easy for sexual violence survivors.

OCRCC notes that this − peace bond for dropped charges − is yet another example of how sexual assault reporting-attrition and prosecution attrition occurs in Canada every day: According to Canadian research, 33 out of every 1,000 sexual assault cases are reported to the police, and just 29 are recorded as a crime...

Read the full OCRCC statement here.

[1] Eight women in total informally shared their experiences with The Toronto Star (for a summary, see: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/10/29/jian_ghomeshi_8_women_accuse_former_cbc_host_of_violence_sexual_abuse_or_harassment.html ). Four chose to report to the police.

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