Sexual Assault Victims Will Tell Their Stories on Film

by Darlene Barriere
(Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)


Sexual assault victims of former Vancouver, British Columbia teacher, Tom Ellison, will tell their stories in a film to be aired on Canada's CBC Newsworld.


School of Secrets, by filmmaker, Melanie Wood, tells women's stories of their relationship with Ellison, who last year was convicted of indecent assault and gross indecency against 12 students during the 70s and 80s. The students were teenagers at the time of the assaults. Ellison was sentenced to 2 years house arrest and was banned from teaching.

My Comments: Although it has been decades since these women were taken advantage of by Ellison, these women are still having difficulty coping and reconciling what happened to them. As teenagers, these girls thought they knew what they were doing. As women, they have at least partly blamed themselves, because they didn't say no. At the time, they experienced teenage excitement and an adrenaline rush of their first sexual encounter. They thought the teacher was "dreamy." But now, as adults, they understand that what happened to them was wrong.

Ellison took advantage of their naivety and he abused his position of trust and authority. Regardless of what the law was during that time, Ellison should not have been able to hide behind the law of the day; which is what he tried to do during his trial. I for one was delighted when he was found guilty.

If you're in Canada, tune in on Tuesday, October 30, 2007—check your local listings for the time—to watch School of Secrets. I intend to watch and will comment further afterward. If any of my visitors get the opportunity to tune in, I hope you'll comment as well.

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