For this episode I chatted with Angela Chaisson, who is a criminal defense lawyer based in Toronto who specializes in sexual assault, defamation, cyber sexual violence, and works with activists and in particular with marginalized communities. Angela has also done extensive research on the non-consensual sharing of intimate photos online, and the implications for tort and criminal law reform and is a research assistant at the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies.
We do have a fundraiser going on for women who have been sued by Canadian author Stephen Galloway for defamation after talking publicly about a sexual assault they believed he committed. You can contribute to the legal defense fund by purchasing slut or nut merchandise between now and the end of December from www.slutornut.ca/shop and you can learn more about the case and the efforts to raise funds to support the women in the show notes to this episode also on our website. I’ve included links to the Barbara Schlifer Clinic and to where you can find information on some of the other legal cases and issues that we talk about in this episode below.
As Angela said, society loves to punish loudmouthed women. We also love to blame women for not reporting sexual assault. “But why didn’t she go to the police” has been a chorus in the media and on social media in the pre- and post Metoo era.
Well, in an age where all your private records can be discussed in open court, your social media picked apart by lawyers, and your financial security jeopardized by defamation lawsuits filed by your abuser or rapist- my question would be - WHY ON EARTH WOULD SHE REPORT? Why would anyone risk going through that? But brave women do and the answer is that we want a better collective good. We don’t want anyone else to be violently assaulted by the person who assaulted us. Still with the personal risk to ourselves and the low conviction rate- I have to ask myself… isn’t there any other way?
I don’t have the answer today, but I hope we can find one, and we must support the groups and women that are trying to make things better. If you want more information on how to get involved please visit SlutorNut.ca/takeaction, consider organizing a screening in your community of the film Slut or Nut, which can be a launchpad for discussing these issues and working to support survivors in your community. You can share this podcast, or look at making donations to feminist organizations, legal clinics, and activists working in your own personal community.
Barbara Schlifer Clinic https://schliferclinic.com/
Slut or Nut Shop - www.SlutorNut.Ca/shop
Background on defamation case brought by Stephen Galloway- https://www.gofundme.com/galloway-suit-defense-fund
Background on Jane Doe vs ND Case - https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/01/25/ex-boyfriend-in-revenge-porn-case-given-second-chance-to-defend-himself.html
More on progressive Sex Education- http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJqQvHjzDtjLEu9IjpUh68Q
Save Sex-Ed - https://ca.gofundme.com/SaveHPE
More on Angela Chaisson - http://chaissonlaw.ca/