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Nygard trial: guilty verdict is a 'victory', according to activists

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Several activists for the rights of victims of sexual assault say they are happy with the verdict at Peter's trial Nygard. (Archive photo)

  • Sarah Tomlinson (View profile)Sarah Tomlinson

The jury's conclusion in the trial of fashion mogul Peter Nygard is a victory, according to several organizations that provide support to victims of sexual assault.

The 82-year-old man, who faced five charges of sexual assault and one charge of false imprisonment against five women in Toronto, was found guilty on Sunday of four of six charges following his trial. /p>

It's a very happy day in the sense that a person of Mr. Nygard's stature, who had power, can just end up being found guilty of things he did.< /p>A quote from Gaëtane Pharand, executive director of the Victoria Center for Women in Sudbury

She also welcomes the willingness of women to testify in a very followed.

This represents extremely great inner strength. Not only one woman, but several women took their courage in both hands to denounce this form of abuse at the hands of a star, adds Ms. Pharand.

Having to remember details of events that may date back many years can be traumatic, even more so if the perpetrator is someone as well-known as Peter Nygard.

It's a significant form of abuse that we see regularly and they wanted to denounce it publicly, she recalls.

Jasminder Sekhon, community development coordinator at Victim Services Toronto, agrees.

It's a big victory in a much broader fight to obtain justice for the victims, says Ms. Sekhon.

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Jasminder Sekhon, community development coordinator at Victim Services Toronto, says she is surprised by the verdict in Peter Nygard's trial.

However, she emphasizes that it is rare for trials to result in convictions.

Indeed, sexual assault cases have the lowest reporting rate among violent crimes, according to the Ontario Coalition of Sexual Violence Support Centers.

In addition, only 10% of sexual assaults reported to the police lead to a criminal conviction, according to Statistics Canada.

Honestly, the verdict surprised me.

A quote from Jasminder Sekhon, community development coordinator at Victim Services Toronto

Peter Nygard's son says the fashion mogul made the subject of more accusations than Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby combined.

His conviction could give hope to victims, according to Jasminder Sekhon.

As someone who has tried to go through the criminal justice system and failed to make it to trial, it& #x27;It's exciting to see that people are being held accountable for their actions, she said.

The system must improve the conditions in which victims are in court, according to several speakers.

We have a lot of work to do within the justice system which, in my opinion, has not yet managed to adequately accommodate victims, believes Gaëtane Pharand.

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Gaëtane Pharand, executive director of the Victoria Center for Women in Sudbury, believes the verdict in the Peter Nygard trial is a victory for victims of sexual assault.

Several victims do not feel sufficiently supported in court and therefore do not dare to testify.

Women should have the right to representation. To someone who is truly a lawyer, a lawyer, who is really there to explain the process to them, to support them.

A quote from Gaëtane Pharand, executive director of the Victoria Center for Women in Sudbury


She believes that this support, financed by the State, would relieve these victims during a traumatic period which can sometimes last for years and would ensure that they feel less powerless.

If a victim commits, she engages in a way that can last a very long time and that will constantly make her remember what happened to her. And the fear in all of this is “am I going to be believed? Is this going to be a winning cause?, explains Ms. Pharand. court depending on the circumstances, a reality that few people experience, according to Jasminder Sekhon.

The system should provide more financial support for child care and transportation to ensure that women who wish to testify in court can do so. without compromise.

We really need to reach out to survivors and ask them what are the gaps and what are the things that we can actually fund to make the process easier, says Ms. Sekhon.

Nicole Pietsch, an activist with the Ontario coalition of sexual violence support centers, believes the success of the Nygard trial lies in the fact that several victims who had similar experiences testified.

There were so many common elements between the stories of victimization. Nygard isolated women, looked for opportunities and used them as premises to perpetrate sexual violence, she explains.

If it had only been one person, I think the affair would unfortunately have focused on the small details that are so easy to forget and so easy to challenge in court.

A quote from Nicole Pietsch, activist with the Ontario coalition of sexual violence support centers

The solution, according to her, is not 'require more victims to come to court, but instead require fewer details about the assaults themselves.

Juries must have a better understanding of the neurological difficulty of remembering and repeating the story of a traumatic event like sexual violence, says Nicole Pietsch.

  • Sarah Tomlinson (View profile)Sarah TomlinsonFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116