Laughing about rape (not what you think)

There is no pity. You've both survived, you know the other is okay (or is going to be okay). You can just let go, just be yourself. There's no need to worry about how this impacting them, whether you are burdening them.

And then you find yourselves laughing about it. Wait, WHAT? No, of course it is not funny. But being able to roll your eyes with someone over ignorant comments, completely disregarding any obligation to be sensitive or politically correct – that's when you know you're not alone. That's taking back control over your experience.

Radio Interview on Calgary News Talk 770 – January 16, 2015

Radio Interview on Calgary News Talk 770 – January 16, 2015

Lauren Reid’s interview with Rob Breakenridge and Roger Kingkade on Calgary Newstalk 770 morning radio show  

Macleans Magazine (Project 97) – January 15, 2015

Macleans Magazine (Project 97) – January 15, 2015

After actress Lucy DeCoutere publicly accused former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshiof sexually assaulting her, Lauren Reid felt inspired to share her experiences of rape with the world—for the very first time—and create a platform for others to do the same. So last December, the 30-year-old who works at a Toronto-based privacy research company started WhenYoureReady.org, a website for survivors of sexual assault to tell their stories and support each other. She posted about the three times in her life she has been raped.

National Post – January 15, 2015

National Post – January 15, 2015

Lauren Reid has a unique contribution to the ongoing conversation about unreported rapes and the climate for addressing sexual assault claims.
Raped three times — once in high school and twice in university — her jaw-dropping experience had never been documented in any official record or police report.
Now, the 30-year-old Toronto resident is using her professional background in big data and privacy to push for a national, anonymous, user-controlled and self-reported database on sexual assault.
It is an ambitious project, unprecedented in its scope, but it comes with its own set of complicated challenges and concerns.

Joy Ward’s Story: Broken Bottles

Joy Ward’s Story: Broken Bottles

This is my story –of a 13-year-old victim who reported to the police in 1956. Ancient history? Perhaps, but it may give some insight into why victims don't report and the surreal experience of doing so. That said, I firmly believe that victims should speak out and identify themselves. It is not their shame! Not publishing names "in order to protect the victim" implies that somehow it is the victim's shame. Rapists are the ones who deserve to be identified and shamed.

A source of strength’s Story: When Does the Healing Begin?

A source of strength’s Story: When Does the Healing Begin?

I got a text from him saying he was outside my apartment and wanted to say goodbye. I let him into my apartment. I lived in a small studio apartment so we were sitting on my bed chatting. Then he kissed me and pushed me down. He got on top of me and held my hands above my head. He pinned me down and with his other hand took off my underwear. I was begging him to stop and was yelling no but my cries went unheard. I was finally able to kick and push him off of me.

Dawn’s Story: Knowing No Childhood

Dawn’s Story: Knowing No Childhood

Life went on as normal, everyone pretended that everything was fine and that nothing had happened. No one but a few close friends that I had finally confided in knew what had happened. But that kind of secret, festers and boils below the surface until one day the cracks start to appear.

Paula’s Story: Trusted Men of Uniform

Paula’s Story: Trusted Men of Uniform

I bluffed my way out of being taken. I took a deep breath and turned on the predator, looked him in the eye with wrath and then side stepped and began to walk toward a truck in the next parking

Trolls

Within minutes of being published, the National Post story had over 20 comments. I know, I know: DON'T READ THE COMMENTS. But I had to. I've never been the subject of a news story before and I was excited to see what people would think of the Project. For hours, not a single positive comment came in – lots of misogyny, hate, victim-blaming and cruelty…all the things that led me to launch this project in the first place.