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Two movements. Two chances to heal.

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Over the past couple of years, I have been so proud of the #BlackLivesMatter movement in their ability to not only call out individual police officers and police departments for their systemic violence and racism, but also engage and sustain the public into social justice action.

In fact, the #BlackLivesMatter movement had been going on well before the hashtag was created, and it has gone from the local political stage of certain U.S. cities to a thriving global movement.

It is also amazing for me to see the feminist movement and all women in the world (that's a little over 50 per cent of the world's population) to embrace #WeBelieveSurvivors -- in fact, on the afternoon that Toronto found out the Ghomeshi verdict, women and their allies marched under the #WeBelieveSurvivors banner and met with Black Lives Toronto who were camped out in front of Toronto Police Headquarters.

You see, in this campaign, both victims face a system that will work its hardest to discredit their lived experience. Whether it's the underreporting of sexual abuse or the underreporting of police violence, at the base of both movments is a kind of social paralysis.   

There were so many different systemic issues brought up during Ghomeshi trial -- from questions around the treatment of celebrities charged with sex-related crimes, to the way survivors of sexual assault are treated when they take the witness stand.

I'm sure these issues will all unfurl in full in the days immediately after his trial. There have been so great analysis here on rabble.ca:

But right now I want to shout out to the world that indeed it does look like my greatest wish during this trial will come to pass. I mingled in the horrible weather when the #WeBelieveSurvivors rally met up with the #BlackLivesMatters

We are already seeing support for the victims being made the priority when it comes to healing from the effects of the horrible crimes that these women charged him with but the judicial system found fit to declare Ghomeshi not guilty.

To discuss speaking out about sexual violence, please see this article After Ghomeshi, take the trauma of sexual violence out of private rooms and into the streets.

Political action in reaction to the Ghomeshi verdict is becoming a reality and I know that showing support for the victims in this case -- where so much has been called into question, again, especially how women are treated on the witness stand during trials which crimes include sexual violence -- will truly be beneficial to their healing.

 

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