"I'm totally horrified. Someone actually calling the police, telling the police, agreeing to go to the hospital and then getting turned away?" sexual assault victim Jenn Farr told The Ottawa Sun this past week.
The 38-year-old Ottawa resident and activist who was raped twice in the past 14 years was finally able to speak in public after a young sexual assault victim was turned away from the Ottawa Hospital on July 4th.
"The last one was eight years ago," said Farr at the rally at the Human Rights Monument on Lisgar and Elgin streets this past Tuesday. "It took that much time. This is my coming out."
As reported by the Sun, the 21-year-old victim was drugged and raped in Sandy Hill at about 3 a.m. When she was brought to the Civic to get a rape kit done, there was no sexual assault nurse available despite his or her presence being required.
Not only was this victim told that she could not shower but that she would have to return the next day. Her only option was to seek hospital services in Renfrew or Cornwall.
This is disgusting and a further victimization of those who have already been victimized! The hospital's excuse? A staffing shortage. Unacceptable!
Unfortunately, this scenario has occurred more than once as an undisclosed number of victims were denied immediate treatment at the Ottawa Hospital in June and June. As Kenneth Jackson reported in yesterday's Sun article, three were turned away on one weekday in June.
While the hospital has apologized and said that this would never happen again, words will never speak louder than actions.
"No, sorry is not good enough," said Concillia Muonde, spokesperson for the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa.
The apology is too late and it's very little."
According to yesterday's Metro Ottawa, police say that eight women are sexually assaulted everyday, but only one reports the incident.
A petition with hundreds of signatures will be delivered to the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus administration, the City of Ottawa, and provincial and federal governments yesterday, organizers said.
Let's hope that the message is heard!
The grassroots protest was organized by a group of people who were "deeply concerned," Julie Lalonde, co-ordinator of the Carleton Sexual Assault Support Line, told Metro.
"This [was] to show people out there that this is something people care about and survivors have someone out there that cares about them."
Using the "survivor" rather than "victim" is empowering and reminds the girl or woman that there are people ready to help and that healing will eventually come.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please call The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa 24/7 Crisis Line at (613) 234-2266.
You can also call the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre at (613) 562-2333.