VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Rape Relief is calling on the BC Prosecution Service to press charges in a case of rape committed at a Halloween party in October 2018.
The victim, who was sixteen at the time, was raped while intoxicated at a UBC frat party by an adult male student from another post-secondary institution in the Lower Mainland.
In April 2020, UBC RCMP informed the victim’s mother that Crown Counsel declined to approve the charges against the man who committed the rape. The police cited “not enough evidence” as the reason given by Crown, in spite of a compelling statement from the victim herself, her friend’s testimony of her intoxication, and hospital documentation of the injuries she sustained during the attack. The victim and her mom refused to accept this decision but their plea to the crown prosecutor didn’t result in a charge.
In response to Crown declining to approve charges, Vancouver Rape Relief sent a complaint letter to the Richmond Administrative Crown Counsel urging the Crown to prosecute the case since, “Any time Crown decides not to lay a charge of sexual assault, it discourages other women from reporting and signals to men they will get away with sexually assaulting women, children and vulnerable people.” And that, “Prosecution of violence against women is an important women’s equality issue, and in the public’s utmost interest.”
“I’ve been learning in school about the Canadian legal system. I was taught that it is set up to protect every single citizen, and hold offenders accountable. I have been let down. Our system did not provide me the justice I deserve. I did everything right. I was forced to grow up really fast. After pushing the haunting memories to the back of my head, I was able to file my complaint with the RCMP. I was told that Crown Council and the RCMP believed me, but that wasn’t ‘going to be enough’. What is enough? Don’t I deserve justice?”
“Words can not describe how devastated I am about the injustice of our justice system. A brutal crime was committed to my daughter, which has changed her forever. To be told that the rapist will not be held accountable is a terrible blow to my daughter. This violent attack colours every aspect of our lives and is such an unimaginably heavy load for anyone to carry, let alone someone so young. Yet her rapist is free to live his life as if nothing happened. It is absolutely shameful.”
The victim’s mother
“Instances like these further discourages women and girls from reporting and reinforces their mistrust in the justice system. When so many cases get dropped by Crown Counsel, this reinforces to men that the violence they committed will not be upheld by the law and that women will not be protected from their violent crimes.”
Sonam Khangura, a rape crisis center worker at Vancouver Rape relief and Women’s Shelter
The victim’s mother and Vancouver Rape Relief’s advocates are available for media interviews.
Media Contact: Hilla Kerner, 604-872-8212, email@example.com
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