In October 2017, the #MeToo movement, originally started by activist Tarana Burke, became a global phenomenon when actor Alyssa Milano posted a tweet asking survivors of sexual assault to retweet and say “me too,” with the aim of bringing widespread awareness to the cause. CBS reported that within a week the hashtag was used in 1.7 million tweets.
The ensuing months found international attention shining a light on the severity and scale of sexual assault. Mobilizing #MeToo opens a window into some of those discussions.
This episode features Meghan Grant, a Crimes and Court Reporter for the CBC, who spends the majority of her work day in the Calgary Court House. While sexual assault cases do not make up everything Grant covers, she has previously reported on the case of Drayton Dwayne Preston, sentenced to 26 months in prison after raping a 17-year-old girl, recording the assault and posting the video to Facebook.
Grant says her time in the courtroom can get “quite uncomfortable,” and she often sees frustrated responses to the acquittals of sexual assault cases.
“Our justice system is set up so that the idea is sort of that 10 guilty people will walk free before one innocent person is put in jail because that is basically the worst thing that can happen in the justice system,” Grant explains.
“So how could we say that one crime should be treated differently than another? People accused of crimes are just that — they're innocent until proven guilty and it has to be that way so that we don't put innocent people in jail.”
To hear more, listen to the second episode in this series:
Mobilizing #MeToo: In Court
Mobilizing #MeToo is the second episode in this series. To listen to episode one about sexual assault on campus, where the Calgary Journal talks to Cari Ionson of Mount Royal University, click here. To listen to episode three about what Veronica Lawrence, co-founder of the Society for the Advocacy of Safer Spaces (SASS), is doing with the organization to make the music scene safer for survivors of sexual assault, click here.
- By Amber McLinden and Robyn Welsh