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How Canadian hockey has a rape problem

In July, former Vancouver Canucks ice hockey participant Jake Virtanen attempted a rate of sexual assault. The trial in Vancouver ended with the jury delivering a now not responsible verdict. Though the jury did now not offer reasons for his or her verdict, we do understand that the defense legal professional representing Virtanen presented a litany of sexist stereotypes about women who report rape, their motivations for doing so, and how they behave at some stage in and after the sexual attack.

The complainant made clear and powerful statements. I thought pronouncing no, I don’t want to do this and bodily pushing him off of me was enough, she stated. What else did I have to mention?

Still, in the pass-exam, she changed into pressed time and again to explain her actions: Why did she go to his inn room inside the first vicinity and why didn’t she depart after the rape? If she truly hadn’t wanted the intercourse; why didn’t she fabricate an excuse together with having a yeast infection or that she was menstruating, she become requested? Although the defense attorney eventually apologized for the latter line of wondering, the jury turned into exposed hints that women are responsible for looking ahead to and stopping rape.

Feminists have worked gradually for decades to shift the general public’s expertise on the rape myths used to discredit girls in numerous spheres. While there’s now a huge consensus on the necessity to stop rape’s way of life and its systemic roots, this reputation has but to endure fruit in relation to retaining guys accountable thru the crook justice gadget.

The women who call us in resistance to the violence they’ve skilled and decide to record to police, do so understanding that the odds are stacked against them. They preserve a sliver of wish that the justice system will at remain shield ladies.

The Virtanen case came about against the backdrop of an unfolding scandal concerning Hockey Canada, the sport’s governing body in the u. S . A ., and reviews that Canadian male hockey players at an elite degree were imagined to have perpetrated two acts of gang rape.

Earlier this year, a lady alleged that she turned into sexually assaulted by 8 intoxicated players, together with members of the country-wide junior crew after a London event organized by way of Hockey Canada in June 2018. She filed an assertion of claim looking for $3.55m in damages from Hockey Canada, which then settled the lawsuit out of court docket for an undisclosed quantity in May 2022. This monetary agreement placed Hockey Canada under severe scrutiny from the government, company sponsors, and the public.

Then, on July 22, the information had been discovered of an assault that happened in 2003 in Halifax at some point during the World Juniors event involving Canadian gamers. The assault turned into a film. According to news reviews, a participant spoke to the digicam and instructed the viewers they had been about to peer a fine lamb roast. The video shows multiple male players taking turns raping a non-responsive woman laying face up on a pool desk.

These brutal assaults illustrate the absolute disregard for ladies’ humanity inherent in sexual violence. With instances spanning many years, it has become clear that the prevailing structures governing guys’ hockey in Canada both blanketed perpetrators from meaningful accountability and failed to minimize similar sexual violence from happening. Rightfully, demands for management exchange have emerged, resulting in the board chair resigning on August 6.

Of course, this atmosphere of guys’ sexual entitlement to girls’ bodies isn’t restricted to hockey or indeed to sports activities. It is, in reality, reflective of what we listen to on our disaster line each and each day. While a reality-locating mission and research into Hockey Canada maintains, we recognize that till there are tangible consequences for individuals who dedicate and enable rape, it is women who suffer the inactivity.

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