July 9, 2020 17: 50
Assault and harassment: report on the social networks has risks
The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — The denunciation made on Instagram by the singer Safia Nolin against By Morin reminds us that the acts of a sexual nature unwanted between people of the same sex remained unknown. But accuse on a social network can harm a victim if she would like to see one day a criminal conviction, prevents the director-general of the clinic Juripop.
Safia Nolin has told on Tuesday to Instagram one evening, which took place in 2018.
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She relates that the popular presenter has touched, he has bitten a thigh in addition to her about sexually explicit and racist. By Morin has apologized for his behavior, without recognition of the specific facts reported by the author-composer-interpreter. The allegations of the two women have not been tested before the courts.
The aggression between people of the same sex remains a subject little known in 2020, has explained in interview to Me, Sophie Gagnon, director of the clinical Juripop, which specializes in sexual violence.
Women are less raw, because people do not conceive of an assault by another woman – because they are not considered violent – and the men who are assaulted by another man are being told that they only had to defend herself, she summarizes the inclusion of bias well entrenched.
And because of this, victims are more reluctant to lodge a complaint, ” she adds.
But it exists, and the clinical Juripop see more and more cases, as it strives to join members of the LGBT community+. Recently, the ex-politician André Boisclair has been the subject of criminal charges for a sexual assault which is said to have been a victim of a man. Éric Salvail, too.
Safia Nolin has used social networks to denounce, as is increasingly the case.
Juripop respects the choices of everyone, tells Me Gagnon. For some victims, the judicial process is the avenue preferred, for others not. Some of them want to remain anonymous, others want to put their abusers out of state to harm.
“We consider that the person who is best placed to make decisions, it is the individual victim, it is the survivor herself.”
But to proceed by way of social networks carries risks, ” said the lawyer, if a complaint to the police is considered.
Because in a case of sexual harassment or assault, there are often no witnesses. The burden of proof rests on the shoulders of the person making the complaint.
“That means that its credibility is crucial.”
If they made statements before the trial, the defence lawyer will obtain them and use it to contradict it, and will compare to report differences between the versions, in order to try to undermine his credibility, ” says ms. Gagnon.
And this can complicate the work of the police.
In the case of Safia Nolin, it is possible that there was never a complaint to the police. She confided to the journalist of The Press, Hugo, Dumas, she does not believe in the current justice system, which would favour white men and heterosexuals, according to the latest reports Thursday.
But for those who want their abusers and stalkers are brought to justice, ms. Gagnon their stresses, during consultations on their rights and remedies, the risks of making statements about the public square. The Crown prosecutors do the same, ” she said.
We remember that the young Alice Pack, which had denounced the mna Gerry Sklavounos, had seen all his statements in shell. The women who testified at the trial of radio host Jian Ghomeshi have also seen their statements analyzed with a fine-tooth comb. However, a victim may decide to be an opportunity to go into more details than another, for all sorts of reasons.
Carrying charges on the social networks, “in identifying by name the people, there are also risks in terms of damage to reputation, defamation, which may arise”, adds the director of Juripop.
Ms. Gagnon also points out that to see a well-known public figure to denounce it in the public place assault by a person of the same sex may help others who have experienced a similar situation. Sometimes, “it creates a domino effect,” she said.
Also, since Monday, the phone lines in the clinic Juripop do dérougissent not.
Because since the beginning of the month of July, a new wave of denunciation is surging in Quebec: the allegations of assault and sexual harassment increase against figures from the web.
Those of Safia Nolin arrived at the same time.
Juripop has even had to increase the staff assigned to answer these calls for help.
The legal clinic provides free legal advice and confidential, in all the regions of Quebec and in different languages.
And as sometimes the solution is not legal, the lawyer stresses that the clinic Juripop has partnerships with the CAVAC (Centre d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels), and with the CALACS (Centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel and violence against women) to offer psychosocial services.