“If you’re tired of reading about people coming out about having experienced rape, or abuse, or violence — then good,” Braids' Raphaelle Standell-Preston wrote in an essay for Pitchfork. “It means you’re beginning to understand how many people have been affected by it. And if you’re tired of reading another article on female empowerment, then keep reading, because it should be normal, and it isn’t as accepted as it should be. This is a fight we need to keep fighting.”
This was May 2, 2016, when Standell-Preston decided to share her story of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, and confronting the associated stigma and shame she had carried with her into adulthood. This is a year where so many silences are being broken, and justice may not be swift — if it comes at all — but this is the beginning of the end of rape culture. Perpetrators thrive not in the shadows, but in the wide open spaces and blind spots made possible by fear, humiliation, guilt, victim-blaming and so much more. In writing this essay, Standell-Preston used her voice to advocate for survivors, women and children. Hopefully it helped others find their own paths out of darkness, where they can be seen, heard and believed.
You can read our full feature on Standell-Preson, as well as nine other Canadians making a mark on 2016, in CBC Music's new feature, Making Noise: cbcmusic.ca/makingnoise