Vancouver Rape Relief, a local feminist collective, is planning a protest Thursday evening outside of the CBC building following Jian Ghomeshi’s acquittal. The same group held a rally in support of the women involved in the Ghomeshi trial just yesterday.
The former CBC radio personality was found not guilty of four counts of sexual assault brought against him by three women. Spokesperson with Vancouver Rape Relief Hilla Kerner tells Vancity Buzz that Ghomeshi’s acquittal is an “outrage.”
“We were really hoping that this case would be different, an exception in terms of the judge’s treatment of the victims, but unfortunately, we’re facing the worst case scenario,” she says. “The judge completely accepted the misogynist, sexist line of defence.”
“We definitely think that justice was not served this morning.”
Kerner says Vancouver Rape Relief has been flooded with calls from women who are angry with the Toronto judge’s ruling, and this protest is a response to the public outcry.
With that said, Kerner says the verdict wasn’t entirely surprising.
“We were talking to other rape crisis centres today across the country and we had been telling each other ‘well, how could we be surprised?’ This case is no different than any other case of sexual assault – the rare cases that do get to court.”
“We did have hope because the public has been so much better than usual at understanding sexual assault and having empathy to the victims and there was a lot of public criticism about the line of defence,” she says.
Tonight’s protest, says Kerner, is a rejection of what she calls a sexist judgement.
“It basically blames the women or trashes women who dare to speak their truth,” she says.