53 minutes | Jan 20th 2019

Sexual Violence and the Canadian Legal System

Jessica Ruano is the director of The Ghomeshi Effect, a dance-theatre performance about sexual violence and the legal system in Canada. 

This interview stayed with me long after I stopped recording. With the proliferation of #metoo narratives in the media, this conversation is a much-needed dissection of sexual violence from several vantage points. Jessica doesn't give quick and easy answers, instead, she approaches this murky issue meticulously, using stories and research to punctuate her points. 

Together, we grappled with these questions and more: 

  • What kinds of people commit sexual violence?
  • Are there good people and bad people? 
  • Is it possible to reconcile our perception of a "good" person with something horrible they've done?
  • Is it possible for someone who has raped someone else to atone for it and/or be forgiven? 
  • How much do we want to exclude people who have committed such acts and with what goal in mind?
  • Can or should a guilty person be brought back into a community? 
  • Does ostracizing the guilty help the problem? 
  • How common are false rape accusations, really?
  • How can art heal survivors? 

Links

The Ghomeshi Effect

Hannah Gadsby's Nanette Trailer

Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women

Intro & Outro Music

The theme song is Rise and Shine by Audiobinger. Edited for time and volume.