Failures of Institutionalized Justice

Our legal justice system has a habit of failing to protect the people most in need of justice.

As mixed as I feel about the fundamental philosophies of countries and patriotism, I also (perhaps hypocritically) love Canada and feel lucky to have been born here. I really want to have faith in the political process and the judicial system that upholds the laws created by our (theoretically fairly) elected representatives. However, just as a downside to democracy is tyranny of the majority, so to a failure of the judicial system is potential tyranny of a certain group of  “elite”.

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Jian Ghomeshi and Institutionalized Rape Culture

Sexual assault is a terrible thing that can tear apart lives, families and even whole communities. I don’t think I know a single person who would disagree with that statement (out loud). However, if you have been following any sort of discourse around the treatment of sexual assault victims, it should be obvious that we as a society don’t always treat them very well. We disbelieve them, ostracize them, ridicule them, shame them and blame them. Growing up as a young girl I was constantly warned about the dangers of men and encouraged not to trust men I didn’t know. As a grown adult woman, I am still advised not to walk home after dark; that I should be careful living in the neighborhood I do and might consider moving; that I should look into self-defence classes; that I need to be careful of what I wear.

A lot has been written about rape culture and how it is continually perpetuated by small acts of microaggression such as catcalling, and larger acts like body/clothing policing and slut shaming. This piece is not about microaggressions. This is about several recent failures of the Canadian judicial systems to protect sexual assault victims and reinforce the status quo of rape culture in Canada.

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