York U Evacuated After Abandoned Suitcase Found at Vari Hall
My original Facebook response is detailed in it’s entirety HERE. Please share this widely, so our government knows this is still an issue, and democracy will not be so easily circumvented, deflected and suppressed.
My initial response following the National coverage:
Wait, so my Heys suitcase with dry cleaning, a hair straightener, and some toiletries gets national coverage, but women being raped and/or murdered, persecuted, disenfranchised, and dispossessed is completely ignored and dismissed?
So, you may be asking, why is there a suitcase in the women’s bathroom? Admittedly, this is a very long and emotionally charged story, with a message about violence against women and the gender terror of rape culture at its core.
I was recently detained on International Women’s Day in connection to a distress call I made to York Regional Police after I had been sexually assaulted and raped. The aggressor was arrested at the scene and brought in for questioning. Paramedics and emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene and I was brought to the hospital to undergo an intrusive and brutal battery of tests as part of the rape kit examination. After being in the emergency department at the hospital for about 8 hours, I was brought into the police station to do my victim impact statement.
Todd Seadon was the primary investigator and he made me feel very uncomfortable during the statement process. When I broke down crying when I got to the narrative surrounding my assault, I was pressed by Todd Seadon to describe in explicit detail the mechanics of the rape. I said I was pinned down violently and forcibly penetrated as I screamed no and struggled under the weight of impact, whereby I felt I was being annhilated into oblivion. Apparently that did not appeal enough to Todd Seadon’s pornographic imagination, so I implored for a women investigator due to the traumatic impact of reliving the details. I was told there was no women available and was sent home, being told that my rapist would be released without conditions.
I took to twitter later that day to dissent and publicly protest the minimization of my rape discourse, the failure of the police to institute protective measures, and the general ill treatment I suffered at the hands of the police as a survivor of sexual assault and gendered violence. I was contacted the following week to come in to speak with the female investigator to complete my statement, however by that time I had become disillusioned with the process, and was severely traumatized from the rape itself, in addition to the brutality of the speculum examination I was subjected to at the hospital — it felt like a second rape.
What I was not anticipating was a third assault, nothing short of institutional rape: I was contacted multiple times in January and February by Tristan Morris and Todd Seadon who accused me of being uncooperative for not following up with the female investigator. I told them I was the victim of sexual assault, so I should not be coerced into giving further evidence, especially given the lack of protective services I had received thus far (my rapist was released without any restraining order, and they did not even seize the keys to my residence from him, effectively sanctioning further violence).
Nonethless, I complied and e-mailed the woman I believed to be the person the case had been handed over to, all though it became clear to me only later that the case was not officially “handed over” to this woman; rather, the case had been partitioned: Todd Seadon was effectively advocating for the rendition of the rape narrative, validating my rapists insistence that it was consensual sex. The scratches on his arm had nothing to do with a violent rape where I attempted to resist the sexual assault, according to the decisively masculinist approach of Todd Seadon. Out of what I deem as reprisal, the male investigator decided to blame me for the whole event, intent on re-victimizing and minimizing the traumatic violence of the sexual assault.
I made several appointments to meet with Debbie (the female investigator) without ever realizing this atrocious abuse of power was manifesting through a corrupt ethic adopted by Todd Seadon. You can read more about the antifeminist, fascist, and masculinist ideology of Todd Seadon here (https://m.facebook.com/GoldAtlantis/posts/10102606357620811 & herehttps://www.facebook.com/GoldAtlantis/posts/10102606356218621?pnref=story).
Back to the abandoned suitcase: I was unjustly arrested after a warrant was issued by Todd Seadon without my knowledge (the defender of legality and right of men to rape women, especially when said women dissent and criticize him publicly). I was brought into custody for 3 days before I received bail under my own recognizance, due to the complexity of my case and the allegation of rape I had made; this made my prolonged detention of ethical concern, especially given I collapsed outside of court as I was being transferred to my holding cell, whereby I smashed my head and began convulsing outside the courtroom — all indicative of a severe and an exacerbated complex, acute stress reaction to the rape trauma.
When I was released, I had noone to drive me to Lindsay where my purse, wallet, bank cards, keys, phone and all my picture id were being held. I asked friends and family for help, but noone was able to bring me there. As a result, I was disenfranchised and dispossessed; my lifeblood and means of subsistence were all being held in a city 3 hours away. I had just got out of custody, so I didn’t even have a jacket or any warm clothes to wear when I got out, nor did I have a phone to contact anyone with or to use to navigate to a remote city alone. In addition, the only bus leaving from Toronto to Lindsay departs at 5:30pm and arrives at 8:30pm — well after the time I would be able to retrieve my things, as the facility goes on lockdown at 4:30pm. I expressed my concerns about going to Lindsay by myself to my friends on Facebook (full story here:https://www.facebook.com/GoldAtlantis/posts/10102601664066731?pnref=story).
I also expressed these concerns to my lawyer and the justice of the peace. I was successful in making a case for them to have my personal property and belongings (purse, wallet, bank cards, house keys, all my id, phone) couriered to me, due to the inherent risks of staying in a town overnight at a roadside Tim Hortons without any emergency funds or provisions. I would have had to stay up until 9am when the facility opens and walk 6km to the remote destination along a rural highway, without any form of navigation.
The justice of the peace agreed this would be impractical and dangerous. He agreed to assist in having my belongings sent to my lawyer; however, due to bureaucracy, there was a 6 day delay in actually receiving my property bag. As such, I spent nearly 10 days without any basic provisions, money, or shelter.
Luckily, a few days ago I managed to get a hold of some clothes I left at a relatives’ place — hence the suitcase I was carrying around with me for the last while as I stayed with friends awaiting my property bag with my means of subsistence and keys to my place of residence. I left the suitcase in the washroom today, so that I could go pick up my purse and wallet after the tribulation of 10 days of near starvation and marginal living. The delivery destination is an hour from the university, and I did not want to bring the suitcase with me. I figured I would store it somewhere for a few hours, rather than overextending myself further.
I was on my way back with my purse and wallet to get the suitcase from the university and finally go home, when news broke out the suitcase I had been carrying around with me the last few days — housing my bare necessities as I awaited my purse, wallet, and house keys to be couriered to me — was now causing an emergency evacuation at the York University campus. The suitcase contains clothes that were recently picked up from the dry cleaners, a tooth brush, hair straightener, and shampoo.
I think a way better national story is RAPE CULTURE, VICTIM BLAMING, DISENFRANCHISEMENT, DISPOSSESSION, and POLICE CORRUPTION. Also, can I have the dry cleaning and my Heys suitcase itself returned? I am exhausted, I want to finally rest after the most traumatizing week of my life. Couldn’t someone just have brought it to the lost and found? Is this really how we are allocating our resources? How patently absurd, indeed! I just please ask if anyone does an update of news coverage about this, please treat this issue with due sensitivity and try not to decentre the issues at the core of this discourse. I can ensure you the suitcase is benign, but our cultural responses are malignant. In light of the new understanding of the origins of this “abandoned suitcase”, perhaps our collective reactionary behaviour needs to be called into question and examined.
Risk and Ethical Discourses: Crisis of Confidence
Todd Seadon is not in a position to preside over the well-being of the communities and people he has committed to serve.
They took away my York University student card. It was not in my purse where I left it when I eventually got my property back (remember the courier situation referenced in body of text). Not to mention, while in custody I was assaulted by two police officers (one purposefully stepped on my foot with force when my shoes were off, and I was violently smashed against a wall for no reason). I will never forget the look of sadistic pleasure in the eyes of the officer that stepped on my foot. I also had welts on my wrists from how tight the handcuffs were. I was really upset and kept shouting “So, I’m rapeable? Women are rapeable? Are you fucking kidding me. I need to speak with Debbie — now!”. I was utterly devastated.
“To be rapable, a position that is social not biological, defines what a woman is.” ―Catharine A. MacKinnon
Debbie is the female investigator that was handling my case since I expressed discomfort with speaking to the male investigator about the sexual assault, given his inappropriate and insensitive line of questioning (“Yeah, but how did he rape you exactly?”). I was made to feel very uncomfortable. There was no female investigator to speak with the day I made my report of sexual assault, after making a distress call to the police and receiving ambulatory care.
In the aftermath, Debbie had failed to be forthcoming with me that Todd Seadon had orchestrated a corrupt ethic, whereby he adopted a masculinist, antifeminist, and decisively fascist approach to handling my complaints and public dissent of his police practices. I also never knew he had not handed over the case in full to Debbie, nor did she tell me — during our course of communication — that there was a warrant issued by Todd Seadon for my arrest sometime between Oct when I called the police for help and March 8th, International Women’s Day, when I was apprehended.
After my public dissent and criticism, Todd Seadon decided to validate a pro-rape stance by justifying the actions of my abuser (even in the face of mounting evidence with a trail of incidents whereby I sought police protections), self-refuting himself in the process by the sheer immorality and the unjustifiable individual and community harms produced by such actions.
The Way Forward: New Technologies and Medical Care Processes I
Piecemeal Social Engineering
In statistical affairs … the first care before all else is to lose sight of the [man/woman] taken in isolation in order to consider him only as a fraction of the species. It is necessary to strip [him/her] of [his/her] individuality to arrive at the elimination of all accidental effects that individuality can introduce into the question. (Academie des Sciences, Paris 1835).
We aim to address state forces of violence used to uphold repressive power and gender relations in our technology and philosophy of praxis. While techno-scientific solutions mediated by technology are proposed within a neoliberal subjectivity, we also address piecemeal social engineering methodologies that promote responsibility of the state in the eradication of violence against women and the promotion of women’s rights through the introduction of technologically-mediated discursive frameworks that disrupt traditional signifying practices of the dominant culture. This technological disruption is achieved through a ratification of the prevailing social order with new decision-trees, standards, and practices used to judge “facts” and “norms” in sexual violence and assault cases.
· Police corruption in the face of crimes with a high emotional charge
· Substantial danger of undue prejudice
· The judiciary is largely comprised of a group of upper-middle-class predominately white, elderly, highly paid men.
· The very concept of ‘neutrality’ and ‘rationality’ to which the courts adhere are, as we have seen, infused by male ideologies
· ‘Fact’ and ‘law’ are not the impartial objective, and neutral body of knowledge and practice, they are assumed to be
· Lawyers and judges are woefully ignorant and prejudiced about rape and sexual assault.
Model-Based Utility Function
Doctor’s attitudes toward patients are terribly condescending, especially toward women. You aren’t supposed to read the record of your own body, and you are scolded like a child if you do. Doctors withhold information that you are dying. They withhold information that you might have a difficult pregnancy or childbirth. In playing God, their attitude is that you must have complete confidence in them to make all of your decisions for you. Why should they make your decisions? (Boston Women’s Health Collective 1970: 182)
Specifically, the proposed sexual assault procedural care technology directly engages with theories of anti-colonial resistance to address the disjuncture of police inaction and the failures of medical experts to adequately promote bodily autonomy and self-determination in gender violence and assault cases, with specialized procedural modules to ethically inform the functional logic of police and doctor-patient interactions with Indigenous, black, Latina, women, and other specialized populations and historically marginalized groups in a transparent and accountable manner that embraces the tenets of collective responsibility, shared decision-making, and biopolitical agency using artificial intelligence (AI) model-based utility functions, new medical procedural models, and ethics of care for the survivor of sexual violence.
Informed Consent, Medical Liability, and Decision-Making
The body is at the intersection between the personal and the political, at the point and juncture where processes of subjectivity and processes of government converge. This is even more potently true when it comes to the deeply personal and often difficult events that transpire during the course of womanhood: the experience of becoming pregnant, giving birth, trying to conceive a child, aging or even facing end-of-life choices. Why then should we not count the traumatic impact or event of sexual assault and rape as part of one of these multiple subjectivities?
Thus, we move toward a primer on responding to victims of gendered violence within the paradigm of “delegated biopolitics”. This paradigm is used to address a range of issues to address self-examination, self-expression, and self-determination in the context of abortion, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, embryo research, and a host of other medical arenas and institutional settings. We propose the introduction of an ethics committee and steering group as a directive in which to inform new techno-scientific and decision-historic paradigms of interaction to impact directly on social and procedural practices at the institutional level, mediated by social technologies that bolster the values and virtues of self-determination and democratic participation over religious demagogy by the sexual assault response team.
Rather than using prescriptive and directive medical guidance, our decision-tree management of the sexual violence victim allows the subject to move beyond the confines of medical or expert paternalism toward an emboldened vision of self-determination; from depersonalized medical care to the humane recognition of the dignity of the person; and ultimately, from the authoritarian tyranny of expert knowledge and ritualized practices of institutional violence to egalitarian social relations and translational knowledge production that engage new technologies of government and medical governing of the sexual assault subject through reified medical care processes.
The Way Forward: Social Technology and Social Control II
In a word, metaphorically speaking, I was raped again by a system that treated me like a potential disease carrier rather than a human being, and collected samples that were not even necessary, since they readily dismissed the case and did not press any charges against the perpetrator or institute any protective measures. In fact, they did not even seize the key to the place where I was staying at the time from my abuser, leaving me terrified that he would enter the premises to harm or murder me in a fit of rage during the night. The lady landlord was similarly fearful, given the legitimacy of this prospect (see here: https://www.facebook.com/GoldAtlantis/posts/10102426829351901).
From the above post:
Reform is about protection of the female, not so much “punishment” of the offender. The thing that shocked me so much was not that they dismissed my case so readily despite ample corroboration and evidence, but that they legally sanctioned a potential repeat offence by not even placing any conditions on the individual. Additionally, they did not sequester the keys to my house from him, putting myself and the landlady, as well as her 80-year-old mother at risk.
There were no female investigators available, even upon request, when I went into the police station to make my impact statement after undergoing a brutal and a traumatizing medical examination; furthermore, the Todd Seadon individual referenced in the body of this text was posing questions that shamelessly perpetuated rape myths. The tradition is antiquated and indisputably attempts to reduce the credibility of complainant at the the onset of the reporting process, by asking the survivor if they have any mental health problems that would prevent the “accuracy” of their statement (rape myth that women are not credible if they suffer from mental health problems). The officers also take ample opportunity to intimidate sexual assault survivors through potent reminders that if they initiate an investigation under false allegations, they will be criminally prosecuted (perpetuating rape myths informed by misogynistic stereotypes that women lie about rape and are prone to deception).
Throughout the whole impact statement I felt like I was in an Evangelical Land church making a confession. I was asked whether I wanted to give oath by swearing on the bible for my statement. It made me wonder whether this colonial practice was offered to Indigenous populations and those of non-Christian/Protestant faith. Why is this still a standard of practice?, I thought. Who does this institution speak for? Who is being protected?
I made the impact statement, but become extremely distraught as I was giving specific details. When Todd Seadon asked me to go into more detail about the mechanics of the rape, I felt like he was appealing to the pornographic imagination. How explicit did I need to be when recounting the narrative of this violation? I pleaded to have a woman present or a female investigator take on the case. Todd Seadon made inappropriate comments about this request, punctuating my “confessional” session with the overarching police “clergy” on a promising note by saying that he would request a female investigator, but nonetheless effectively dismissing me because I broke down crying when describing the body mechanics in supposedly inadequate detail. “I think you’ve had enough of dudes for one day,” he responded with flat affect, hastily leaving me in a heap of terror.
The women investigator — Debbie — followed up with me after a week or so, but by that time I had lost faith in the system, as it seemed intent on the re-victimization of women, and based on my audit of the medical practices, seemed unethical. As such, I embarked on a research project with the political aim of politicizing the lack of consent, loss of bodily autonomy, and sanctioned practices of institutional sexism and perpetuation of myths about sexual assault survivors through process of disbelief, indifference, and systematic attempts to reduce the confidence and credibility of the complainant. Interestingly, this is all mediated through an unethical system of medical procedural management.
Women are still property under law in Canada. I am now scared to ever report a crime to the police. Women are not being protected under the law — in fact, we are being systematically humiliated, dehumanized, silenced, and criminalized for speaking up against sexual assault. Women in my situation are undergoing three counts of rape under our current legal system: once by our attacker, once through lack of medico-legal informed consent and unnecessary forced speculum examinations, and third, metaphorically, through process of institutional rape, re-victimization and attempts at criminalizing sexual abuse survivors and/or political dissenters (see the deceitful and malicious e-mail I received from police just weeks before my unlawful arrest on International Women’s Day here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10102617797425351&set=pb.58017395.-2207520000.1461738810.&type=3&theater).
Concluding Statements: Todd Seadon is not in a position to preside over the well-being of the communities and people he has committed to serve. I am in the process of lodging formal complaints and lobbying to end this institutional abuse and violence. Police and politicians must be made accountable to prevent permanent and irreversible psychic mutilation, morbidity, and mortality of the sexual assault survivor. Please share my post widely, again available here to make sure this remains in the public and political consciousness, as I and others in the anti-rape community organize other actions to pressure government to move toward more ethical modes and practices of sexual assault survivor medico-socio-legal care.