Marlee Liss now wants other survivors to know that the traditional justice system isn’t their only option.
Sweet mother of... she's a complete nutter
I am a 24-year old Sagittarius, queer femme, nomadic Torontonian, sexual educator, and heart-led human. With extensive education in anti-oppressive social work, trauma-informed yoga, and somatic sex education, my work acknowledges the relational dance of influence between the soma (the body) and society.
I have worked with countless womxn internationally through the facilitation of transformational retreats and local circles. My online course and mentorship programs focus on reclamation and empowerment through embodiment. My work is deeply inspired by my experience facilitating movement on Grandmother Kaariina’s ‘Sacred Women Retreats’, volunteering with the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, and journeying through trauma and transformation. I published a book about my journey through sexual violence in 2017.
HEART-FULLY, I founded the Re-Humanize Movement in 2019 after experiencing a profoundly healing restorative justice process for sexual harm. Alongside my mother, I am a proud executive director of the organization.
There is a societal benefit to prosecuting criminals whether their victim wants them to or not. She shouldn't be forced to testify (which, of course, would weaken the case) but if there is evidence, locking up a rapist or murderer is appropriate.
Now as for the accusation:
Liss said she left to get a cab to her friend’s condo, where she’d planned to stay for the night. She said the man from the dance floor told her he lived in the same building and asked: Why don’t they share the ride?
When they arrived, Liss’s friend didn’t answer her phone. She said the man invited her to his unit to wait for her friend to answer. Liss followed him in and lay down on his bed. Then, she said, he started pulling off her clothes.
“I was like, ‘I’m way too exhausted, I’m practically unconscious right now, you shouldn't touch me,’” she said.
Liss said the man assaulted her for hours. When it was over, she said, she snapped back into her body. She ran out of the condo half-dressed and went home. Liss said her roommate was “amazing” and literally googled “what to do when your friend is raped.”
Liss and her roommate went to the hospital, where a rape kit examination was performed. She had two options: report her assault to the police or do nothing.
“I didn’t want nothing because I did want some sort of justice,” she said. “I couldn't imagine just going home and just watching Netflix. My world felt so rocked, or more than that — imploded.”
When she made a report to the Toronto Police Service, she felt the officers asked “insensitive” questions, like how much she’d drunk and what she was wearing. She also had to go over everything in excruciating detail. In response, Toronto police spokesperson Victor Kwong, who did not work on Liss’s case personally, told BuzzFeed News that officers “can always strive to do better to explain why we ask the questions we do.”
“Questions during an interview, such as the examples you gave of ‘what she was wearing’ and ‘how much she had to drink,’ may seem inappropriate on face value, but the reason they are asked are for evidentiary and investigative purposes, not victim-blaming,” Kwong said.
The police ultimately filed charges, which put Liss’s case in the minority. It’s estimated that only 5% of sexual assaults in Canada are reported to police, and of those, a Globe and Mail investigation found that 20% are deemed “unfounded,” meaning police have decided a crime did not occur.
Regretted drunken hookup or rape? She certainly has all the #metoo talking points in there, but if you break down the events it wasn't much of a case.
1. They met and flirted at a bar.
2. Despite her statement that he was 'too handsy' she shared a cab ride with him, went to his apartment, into his bedroom and laid on the bed.
3. She claims to tell him he 'shouldn't touch her' while he was undressing her but doesn't say she was unconscious, tried to leave, or made any effort to stop him from disrobing her.
4. He allows her to leave and doesn't threaten her.
5. She gets home and her girlfriend gets on google instead of calling the cops. They instead head to the hospital where the police get involved.
6. She then struggles with the choice whether a man assaulting her for 'hours' should be charged with rape. Her though process isn't over the anxiety of having to face her rapist, it was whether she thought he should be punished or not.
7. She gets offended when police start asking evidentiary questions.
8. She opted to spend eight hours in a room with him as part of the 'restoritive justice'. He couldn't speak until the end.
I don't know. There is no mention of toxicology reports indicating alcohol levels or other drugs which would certainly change the way the case would be viewed.
I would have a hard time convicting the guy based on the presented evidence (which is all from the accuser at this point).
There is a lot missing here.
“It was one of the most meaningful calls of my life.”
Well, here's the issue. If the guy made a bad call one night and engaged with a passive female who considered it rape, well positive outcome. If he was a sexual predator who delights in raping semi-conscious women, not so good he's walking around.
That's the basis of the legal system. How can it be improved (without sage and seashells of course)?
... I think this speaks for itself.
If this was the guy's lawyer, the guy paid to defend him... no wonder the guy cracked.
What were his options? Even his defense attorney personally caved.
Still, if brought up on charges for banging a chick I brought home from a bar who decided after the fact to accuse me of rape, I guess this is the least painful option. I still can't get over the level of ego expressed by the victim in that article.
More details, I should have said. Not in every aspect
To be clear, I think she is nuts, he got off easy, and I think the odds of what Q said about regret over rape is possible, but I also understand and agree with the part about the trial arguably being worse for the victim than the rape, and the part about a rapist going to jail coming out worse.
If this was his first ever event like this, and he went to jail over it for 5year(example) that is 5 years of being told you're a rapist. Many would crack under that and become what they keep being told they are. If this was something he had never done before and does have remorse for, jail would not help him, and possibly only make him worse.
That said, this is all nuts and he should probably have at least gone on the registry.
I feel like this method of "justice" is similar to what is done in Saudi, but over there it's about $$$ to buy your way out of the crime.
I doubt all he did was apologize. I am certain there was a financial component to the apology.
Well not as much healing as a new car, living room set, and a paid for vacation. After all who cares what he does to another woman.
Absolutely not. Not with out proof and a conviction. A mere accusation shouldn't be enough. A rape kit may just say sex occurred. It isn't necessarily proof of rape
There was admission of guilt.
After eight hours of being torn down by PC and #metoo justice warriors without a chance to speak, I'm sure he'd admit to anything to get out of there (after all, if the crazy bitch isn't happy you might be facing 5-6 years in jail!) ... but yet, if he actually admitted guilt why do both articles insist on using 'allegedly'?