The sad reality is that I don’t know a woman without a story of sexual abuse. The sadder reality is that most never report the abuse. This story is different. This story gives me hope.
Heather, thank you for having the courage to stand up, speak up, and seek justice.
My brave came in the form of a sexual assault trial, even when I didn’t feel up to getting on the stand in court.
I was assaulted on International Human Rights Day of 2014 in my university residence room, where I worked and lived as a Residence Don for first-year students.
When it happened, all I could think of were the students living on my floor and how I wanted to set the precedent that what was happening to me was not okay, and that they should never put up with someone who hurts them in that way. So I decided to take my case to the police, and against all odds my case made it to court.
I sat through weeks of gruelling cross-examination. There were times when I wanted so badly to give up so that I wouldn’t have to see my abuser sitting across from me. However, I stuck it out in the spirit of my resilient students, who I hope now know that they have their own voices and should never let anyone take that away from them.
I recently attended my last day in court and against all odds, we received a guilty verdict.
I am attending law school next year in the hopes of ensuring that justice continues to be delivered in these kinds of cases.
The #ShowMeYourBrave Project asks people, “What’s the bravest, scariest, or most intimidating thing you’ve ever done?”. The idea of the project is to share stories of everyday bravery and human resilience to bring us closer together. In sharing, we not only find our voices, but we find support, allies, and others who have faced similar challenges. If you would like to submit your story, we would love to feature your bravery here.