Sarelle Sheldon

Sarelle Sheldon

This is an interview with Sarelle Sheldon, a social work student at McGill, who talks about her individual experience as a rape survivor. She discusses the experience itself, her interactions with the police and her family, the idea of ‘rape culture’ and victim blaming, and more.

“I chose to speak up because Rehtaeh Parsons was one death too many,” Sheldon said. “I want to be able to give a voice to rape survivors.”

So she sat down for an interview with her friend, Spencer Macnaughton, and, in excruciating detail, talked about the night of the rape, the morning after and the tumultuous 20 months since, during which she missed a semester of school, hid what had happened from most people she knew and required lots of therapy.

By speaking out, she hoped to break the cycle of “stigmatization” that often plagues a rape survivor.

Rehtaeh loved the words strength and courage. She had them tattooed on her arm in Japanese. If you try to visualize strength and courage as a person you’ll see Sarelle Sheldon.

Rape victim finds her voice and her dignity: A McGill student decided to take back her life by going public about her ordeal