All eyes will be on Toronto tomorrow, where the sexual assault trial of former CBC superstar Jian Ghomeshi begins.
Hilla Kerner with the Vancouver Rape Relief shelter says the case represents hope for many victims and sexual assault survivors.
“So many women who are usually very worried and have great disbelief in the police have some hope in how diligently the police [were] in this case. We are all looking to see what will happen in court.”
And she says because of how profile it is, it could have a lasting impact – reducing the stigma of sexual assault, and encouraging women to come forward who might previously have feared interacting with the legal system.
“How this case will be conducted in court will be important to how women relate to the criminal justice system, and the message that they receive about is it useful to come forward and use the criminal justice system against the men who raped them.”
Ghomeshi has plead not guilty to four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.
While Ghomeshi’s trial will focus on four sexual assaults, nearly 23 women, many of them anonymous, leveled allegations of sexual assault against the former CBC host.