High-profile sex assault cases can bring out different reactions in victims: Klinic

After disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted on sexual assault charges Monday, one local expert says the verdict may bring out mixed reactions in other victims of similar crimes.

Nicole Chammartin, executive director of Klinic, a Winnipeg community health centre, told 680 CJOB that each person’s experience is different – and so is their response.

“Some people will see this as a success. We’ve seen a conviction,” she said.

“For some people, that might make them feel like there might be chance at (similar) success for themselves.”

Weinstein was found guilty of a criminal sex act for assaulting a production assistant at his apartment in 2006, as well as third-degree rape of a woman in 2013.

He was found not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, which could have resulted in a life sentence.

Chammartin said healing isn’t the same for everyone, so not all victims of sexual assault may want to go through the court process, despite seeing positive outcomes of high-profile cases.

“For some people, it can trigger past pain, so it may not be something that promotes them reaching out,” said Chammartin.

“For others, it might be something that really emboldens them to reach out for support. It really depends.”

She said it’s common, however, for Klinic to see spikes in the number of people reaching out to report crimes after allegations against prominent people like Weinstein  – or Winnipeg fashion mogul Peter Nygard – are made public.

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