IN MONTREAL, QUEBEC, IT TAKES FORTITUDE TO REPORT A RAPE
In late 2011, an 18-year-old Concordia University student accused three McGill University football players of sexually assaulting her after she and a friend were invited to their apartment.
The allegations shook McGill's administration - which was accused of trying to cover up the matter -and eventually led to the young men being charged in April 2012, and, when the case went public months later, being kicked off the football team.
Then, in mid-November, new evidence came to light - allegedly in the form of a statement from a witness who affirmed that the sex was consensual - and Crown prosecutors dropped the charges.
The victim had begged them to press on.
"(The lawyers) didn't listen to what I wanted at all," she told the Montreal Gazette recently. Now 21 years old and attending school in Ontario, the woman spoke on condition that her name - which was subject to a publication ban during the court proceedings - remain unpublished. "It's very frustrating. It's hard."
She is one of countless women in Canada and around the world whose side of the story was not considered to be enough. When women recently came forward with sex assault allegations against well-known CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, there was a swift backlash demanding why they hadn't come forward sooner. It was in this context that Montreal Gazette reporter Sue Montgomery initiated the Twitter hashtag #BeenRapedNeverReported, which went viral after tapping into simmering anger among women who had long stayed silent.
These women know all too well how difficult it is not only to speak out, but to bring rape cases to conviction.