A lot has been made out of the letters and photos sent to Jian Ghomeshi by some of the women who’ve said the former CBC radio star had sexually assaulted them. Some will believe it’s evidence of Ghomeshi’s innocence while others, in particular those involved with violence against women, say it’s not proof of anything, let alone Ghomeshi’s innocence. Contact after abuse is actually quite common.
But what if there was an email between Ghomeshi and one of the women and in it he apologized? What if he said he was sorry for everything? What would that mean to the police or the Crown? Would it change completely the way this sad ugly story has played out?
You would think so, but I wouldn’t count on it.
One of the males in the Rehtaeh Parsons case sent her just such an email less than two weeks after she was raped by him and in it he says he’s “really sorry for what happened.” He says he’s not sure how the story got out and mentions “someone opened there (sic) mouth about it to the whole school” before mentioning that males name in brackets. He’s also angry the other male is denying he did “anything” to Rehtaeh.
What does he mean by “what happened?” We’ll never know because he was never asked. The email was passed on to the police as soon as he sent it to Rehtaeh but he was never interviewed and questioned about it.
So, if Ghomeshi had sent something like that what would have happened?
Probably nothing. That’s just how the system works. Come forward and you lose, stay silent and you lose, reach out to other victims and you lose, get an apology from your rapist…
And you lose.