As the world is fixated on the alleged sexual misdeeds of a nominee for the US Supreme Court it is worth thinking about this on a local level.
Recently in Nova Scotia we heard from a young woman who went to the Colchester East Hants Hospital to seek help after being sexually assaulted. That help consisted of being handed a pamplet and sent out on her own into the dark night after midnight! After being assaulted!
A week later another Nova Scotian woman came forward with a similar experience
Each of these examples show a cavalier, callous and cruel disregard for these specific victims of sexual assault.
Working on the well-founded theory that what happens to one (or two), happens to others, we can extrapolate that what has happened to two has no doubt happened to many other victims of sexual assault in this province.
While the Republicans in the U.S. Senate fight the optics of being an all-male panel (they hired a female lawyer to question the female accuser to mitigate their image), the Nova Scotia Health Authority lead my CEO Janet Knox has no such excuse.
Of the ten-person NSHA “Leadership Team” seven are women. Until September it was an 11-member team with eight women in charge. http://www.nshealth.ca/about-us/executive-team
So where is the compassion and understanding we expect from medical professionals? Where is the understanding and compassion we expect from women in charge of a health organization?
The Nova Scotia Health Authority has only been in existence since 2015, but sexual assault isn’t a new issue. It isn’t a woman’s issue, it’s society’s issue. That said, you would expect an organization lead by women would have this covered.
Janet Knox was the long-time CEO of the Annapolis Valley District Health Authority, prior to heading the NSHA. Surely she or her colleagues at the other health authorities had a protocol in place for dealing with sexual assault victims that didn’t further put them at risk by abandoning abused, single young women to the night?
Where is the compassion?