Just two days ago, Jian Ghomeshi was trending all over Canada and even beyond. This is not the first time that the former Q radio show host would trend. He trended a great deal back in 2014 as accusations of sexually inappropriate behaviour and non-consensual sexual violence towards women started to come forward. However, on Thursday, it was the outcome of his trial that gripped the nation. Jian Ghomeshi was found not guilty on all charges laid against him. A very perplexing outcome considering that several women had offered their accounts of how Jian Ghomeshi beat and choked them without consent. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) had fired him after they received graphic proof. So yes, Friday’s verdict was a shocker.
I am not doubting that Justice William Horkins’s verdict was in line with his expertise or training in law but something that was made clear by his statements leading up to his final verdict, was that he did shame the victims. He touched on the soft spots of may I say, broken people seeking respect, dialogue and justice in the court system. For example, Justice Horkins had referenced Lucy DeCoutere’s (one of the complainants) seeming willingness return to Jian Ghomeshi after the abuse took place.
It is not rocket science, we all probably know or have heard of one or two women who are still married to their abuser, who are still reproducing with their abuser. It is perplexing to understand why this happens but ever figure that the woman herself is probably confused too? As humans, we are lonely beings with a need for attachment and sometimes, this drives us to attach ourselves with those who are nothing but the worst for us. So, that a woman would contact her abuser does not mean that she loves to be slapped or choked. The focus should be on the person who has been accused by numerous women of violent acts towards them. Rather, Justice William Horkins had raised an eyebrow over Lucy DeCoutere’s behaviour after abuse – communicating with Ghomeshi in a romantic way. I see that he spoke from a point of privilege, probably never having gone through abuse and probably never having cared or wanted to understand the kinds of effects abuse has on women and even men.
I once saw the statement “Justice is not law”. People go to courts for a chance at justice, you do not necessarily go to courts having an assurance for justice but there should be an expectation for respect, not victim-blaming or shaming. Now, we have been enlightened by the brave women who came forward with their stories against Mr. Ghomeshi. Now ladies, you know that if Jian Ghomeshi messages on Facebook, you will instantly block him, now I know that if I am on the same pedestrian lane with Mr. Ghomeshi, I will prepare myself for self-defense.
Who said the victims did not win in this. They won because they have enlightened so many and many of us remain unshaken by the verdict. We stand by the truth.
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