Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Story of Jane Doe by Jane Doe

Before reading this book, I'd come across the case of Jane Doe v Board of Commissioners of Police for the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto in four different law classes: Torts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure and Remedies. In 1986, Jane Doe became the fifth woman to report being raped by a man who had become known as the Balcony Rapist. During the investigation and trial of the rapist, she saw that systemic sexism in the police department led to shocking treatment of rape victims, shoddy investigations, and in her case, no suitable warning being given to likely targets. She sued them for negligence and violating her equality rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I would never have read this book if it wasn't on the reading list for one of my classes. People getting hurt just isn't my kind of thing, but I found myself very happy to happy to be reading it. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Until I read this book, I didn't understand what her case was about.
  • Jane Doe strikes a lot of people as being abrasive, but I thought she was terrific, honest about her shortcomings, creative and funny. {Sample quote: "Honestly, the things I've done for rape!"
  • She shows what it's like for someone to go through an 11-year court case and what lawyers really look like to their clients.
  • She clearly shows a lot of what is wrong with the way police departments work.
  • She makes feminism fun.
  • Jane Doe's Website
  • Summary from Lawyers who represented her
  • Someone who came off poorly in the book, lost, and oddly, lists the case on his resume.

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