Lucy DeCoutere’s lawyer, Gillian Hnatiw, had a sobering reminder for all outside the courtroom during the second day of her client’s cross-examination that violence against women has nothing to do with their behavior.
— Tara Spencer-Nairn (@TSpencerNairn) February 1, 2016
“Violence against women is not about the behaviour of the women. It is not about how they cope with an assault or the details they commit to memory in the aftermath,” she said, outside Toronto’s Old City Hall courthouse, where the trial is under way.
Lucy DeCoutere is an actress, best known for her role in the television series Trailer Park Boys. She joined seven women in 2014 in alleging sexual violence by former CBC Radio personality Jian Ghomeshi. She is only the second of the eight to publicly identify herself in the allegations.
Back in 2003, Lucy DeCoutere alleges Jian Ghomeshi assaulted her in his apartment following a dinner date. He has been charged with sexual assault and choking based on the actress’s allegations. His trial began on February 1. Ghomeshi has pleaded not guilty.
Lucy DeCoutere’s lawyer reacted strongly to a line of questioning posed by Ghomeshi’s lawyer.
“This is, and remains, a trial about Mr. Ghomeshi’s conduct. What Lucy did and how she felt in the aftermath of the assault does not change that essential fact,” she continued in her statement outside the courthouse.
“It’s not about whether [victims of violence] see their abusers again or send flowers, any more than it is about what they wear or how much they had to drink,” Hnatiw added.
Hnatiw received praise via social media for her statement.
— David M. Tanovich (@dtanovich) February 5, 2016
— Aurelia Cotta (@AureliaCotta) February 5, 2016
Many have praised Lucy DeCoutere for her bravery as well, including fellow actress Ellen Page.
— Christine Beswick (@bychristinebswk) February 6, 2016
My friend @lucydecoutere is one of the most incredible people I know –deeply kind, generous and brave.
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 6, 2016
Even though the words Lucy DeCoutere’s lawyers shared outside the courthouse weren’t issued inside a court of law, might they make an impact on those proceedings taking place inside?
— Chatelaine (@Chatelaine) February 6, 2016
One can only hope and pray they do, so more women–like Lucy DeCouture–become strong enough to speak out against sexual assault.