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Off The Tracks

Episode 14: We Believe You


Content warning: This episode discusses sexual assault, rape, and experiences interacting with police. If any of these topics are triggering for you, we encourage you to forgo listening to this episode. To find crisis support in your region (within Canada) please visit: https://endingviolencecanada.org/sexual-assault-centres-crisis-lines-and-support-services/.

In the season finale of Off the Tracks, we sit down with Ava Williams. A Western Law alumna and now a civil litigator at Thomson Rogers, Ava is a strong advocate both in and out of the courtroom. In 2017, the Globe & Mail published Unfounded, a 20-month-long investigation into how police handle sexual assault allegations. Ava’s experience was featured as one of the central storylines throughout the investigation.

In this episode we discuss how and why Ava chose to become involved in the Unfounded investigation, the microtraumas that accompany reporting a sexual assault, the profound impact Ava’s story has had on Erin and Piper, and the power of hearing someone say “I believe you.”

Thank you for supporting our first season. Off the Tracks is taking a summer hiatus and we look forward to bringing you new episodes in Fall 2021.

Follow Ava on Twitter: https://twitter.com/avanwlaw

Read Part 1 of Unfounded and navigate to all subsequent articles here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/unfounded-sexual-assault-canada-main/article33891309/

Read about Ava’s experience reporting and the text of Sadie’s note here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/what-its-like-to-report-a-sexual-assault-36-people-share-their-stories/article34338353/#5

Read a profile of Ava within this article: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/unfounded-these-canadians-are-working-on-the-front-lines-of-a-changing-system/article37305356/

Follow us on Instagram @offthetrackspodcast, check out our website offthetrackspodcast.com, or connect with us by emailing podcast.offthetracks@gmail.com.

Thanks for taking some time to step off the tracks with us!

- Erin & Piper

Did you know there are free and confidential mental health supports available to law students, paralegals, and lawyers in every province and territory? Click here to learn more and access services: https://www.cba.org/Sections/Wellness-Subcommittee/Wellness-Programs


Episode 14

Season 1

by Off The Tracks