Jagmeet Singh's Book

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Jagmeet Singh's Book

I know that many here do not have much use for Jagmeet Singh (for some that would be an understatement), but I do respect him for having be willing to talk about sexual abuse. The more that this issue is discussed out in the open, the better it is. Do I think it will improve his standings among voters? No, but that is not my point. 

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has claimed in a new memoir that a taekwondo coach sexually abused him when he was 10 years old.

"When it happened, I didn't know what to think," Singh told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti. "I felt a lot of shame and guilt, which I know is normal when you go through something like this." The politician revealed the abuse claim in his new book, Love & Courage: My Story of Family, Resilience, and Overcoming the Unexpected, released Tuesday. Singh told Tremonti that the coach spotted the young boy's enthusiasm for the sport and singled him out for extra training at his home through a special program. "The program, really, was a guise to sexually assault me," Singh said. "Even now when I think back, it's almost unimaginable that someone would go to such lengths to set up a way to assault a little kid."

Singh said that the coach is now deceased. A representative for the politician, referring to the coach as "Mr. N", said that he was never charged in relation to the abuse, which is alleged to have happened in Windsor, Ont., in the late 1980s. The CBC has not independently verified the account, and is not revealing the coach's full name.

Singh said that when the alleged abuse occurred, he doesn't think he "could fully understand what was going on."  ...

He said he felt that it was his own fault, and he did not tell his parents. His father was dealing with alcoholism at the time, and Singh said he "didn't want to stress out" his mom.  "I tried to bury it down. I didn't really want to talk about it, I didn't really want to think about it."

Singh said that police investigated the coach a few years later for separate abuse allegations. The CBC has not been able to confirm whether that investigation resulted in charges.

At that point, his mother sat him down and asked if anything had happened during his taekwondo classes. "I immediately said, 'No, no, not at all, not at all.'" ...

Singh didn't tell his mother until he was 25, he said. 

After struggling for years, he said the words of a friend helped him understand he was blameless. "A dear friend told me that it wasn't my fault," he said. "That was a really special moment because I knew it wasn't, but I hadn't heard anyone say it to me. I want to tell people the same thing: it's not their fault."