I Believe Survivors — #ibelievesurvivors

I believe survivors.

Here in Canada a sexual assault trial just wrapped up that has captured national interest. These alleged sexual assaults were of a surprisingly violent nature, (again – allegedly) perpetrated by a national entertainment icon.

The women who were on the receiving end of the alleged assaults came forward only after years of silence. In court, their testimonies were torn to shreds by the defense lawyer.

March 24, 2016, the accused walked free.

Now, in the court of public opinion, this man is guilty as all get out.

However, in the court of law, you must be guilty beyond the reasonable shadow of a doubt. If the defense can demonstrate that doubt, you are not convicted.

That’s where it gets uncomfortable. Should this man have walked free? Is it better that ten guilty people are exonerated than one innocent person is convicted? If we are the ones who face punishment, we would say yes.

But in this particular case, even those close to the man in question don’t deny he actually did the things of which he is accused.

And so women who have been hurt see this result and many may determine it’s not worth the public humiliation, public shaming, and mockery when in all likelihood there will not be a conviction. They have seen how the system works and in essence, they have been silenced.

This is troubling.

And I don’t have an answer.

I am hoping that those who are affected directly and most intimately – women – will lead the way.

Something has to change.

Now, there is an entire issue of abused becoming abusers, and that is a long-term, generational problem to solve, but it’s not the topic of the day here.

I believe survivors.

And we MUST have better mechanisms for support while still retaining fairness in law.

This is not just a national discussion here in Canada, but an Internationally needed examination.

As a man, I can only support and speak up. So I am.

I was raised by a feminist mother, but also a patriarchal society. It has taken years for me to find the way through that conditioning and I thank my mom for giving me tools. I hope I can do the same for my own children.

When I think back to the attitudes, words and actions that were considered acceptable as I was growing and maturing alongside my friends my face reddens with embarrassment and shame. It is taking my entire life to find all the seeds of careless, unintended, and often unconscious misogyny that a male dominated society has planted in me. My strong, amazing wife is pretty good at helping me there!

I believe survivors.

We have a long road ahead. We’ve already begun. And myself and others watch and listen to the leadership of those who are most affected – the women of the world. This ranges beyond the concept of two gender identities.

Thank you for showing us how to be better sons, brothers, friends, partners, lovers. Thank you for showing us how to be better men.

On this road, we were always meant to walk together.

Many have already taken the first steps.

The rest must hurry to catch up.

Hiy hiy

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Aaron Paquette is a First Nations Metis artist, author and speaker. Based in Edmonton, Aberta, his Bestselling Novel ‘Lightfinder’ was published June 2014 through Kegedonce Press and quickly topped the bestseller charts. It is now in FOURTH printing.

To order Lightfinder:

Chapters Indigo

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Aaron Paquette on Facebook

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For free children’s book, go here:

A Day of Giving by Aaron Paquette

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I believe survivors - Aaron Paquette

You’re Ready. Start Today.

You think you are just a person struggling through the world, making it day by day. You think that one day you’d like to follow your dreams – to create! To make something incredible.

You think you don’t have enough knowledge yet, or training or time.

You think all these things and so your mind listens and makes it so.

Isn’t time to believe all things are possible?

Isn’t it time to let go of that great evil, perfectionism, and let your work be imperfect without fear of judgement?

Isn’t it time to cast worry aside and grab hold of your purpose, your reason, your destiny?

I will tell you what you already know:

This is the time.

This is your day.

This is the moment you feel a flame in your heart growing, spreading, filling you with Life!

Nurture it!

Protect it!

Help it grow.

It’s the true expression of your very own soul longing to breathe free.

Longing to fly.

Are you ready? It may not feel like it, but you are.

Will you fall? Absolutely!

And will you rise?

Absolutely.

Do what you have to do to make it happen right now. Change everything. Now.

You are fierce and beautiful and strong.

Show it to the world.

Hiy hiy

RWBlackbirdSprit_Paquette_FB1

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Like the Page:
http://www.facebook.com/AaronPaquetteArt

Aaron Paquette is a First Nations Metis artist, author and speaker. Based in Edmonton, Aberta, his first YA Novel Lightfinder comes out in June 2014 through Kegedonce Press.

Pre-order today until June 16th and receive $1200 worth of art in return. Plus be entered for a draw for a $500 painting (no purchase necessary). Details here:
http://www.aaronpaquette.net/?p=5956

Pre-orders:
http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/lightfinder/9780986874079-item.html

From acclaimed artist Aaron Paquette comes a new novel that will enchant you, grab you and pull you into a world you thought you knew but have never truly seen…

Aisling is a young Cree woman who sets out into the wilderness with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty and two young men she barely knows. They have to find and rescue her runaway younger brother, Eric. Along the way she learns that the legends of her people might be real and that she has a growing power of her own.

The story follows the paths of Aisling and Eric, siblings unwittingly thrust into a millennia old struggle for the future of life on earth. It deals with growing up, love and loss, and the choices life puts in our path. Love and confusion are in store, as are loss and pain. Things are not always what they seem and danger surrounds them at every turn.

Will Raven”s mysterious purposes prevail? With darkness closing in how will they find the light to guide them? Will Aisling find Eric in time?

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“As a fan of Aaron Paquette’s dazzling artwork, I am in awe of the vision and craft behind The Lightfinder Saga. If you loved Stephen King’s The Stand and the worlds that Neil Gaiman can create, you will love these characters who are fighting for humanity’s survival. Bravo!”

–Richard Van Camp
author of The Lesser Blessed, Angel Wing Splash Pattern and Godless but Loyal to Heaven

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