Book Launch: Suing for Silence by Mandi Gray

Thursday, April 11, 2024 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Octopus Books, 116 Third Ave., Ottawa

Join us for the Ottawa launch of Suing for Silence: Sexual Violence and Defamation Law with author Mandi Gray.

Thursday, April 11, 7pm - 8pm
Octopus Books, 116 Third Ave., Ottawa

The arrival of the #MeToo movement was long overdue, putting sexual violence in the spotlight and opening up public discussion of the problem. It also sparked a global anti-feminist backlash. Suing for Silence is a groundbreaking examination of how abusive men use defamation lawsuits as a weapon against anyone who attempts to hold them accountable.

As Mandi Gray demonstrates, Canadian defamation law is being employed to silence survivors and advocates who speak out about sexual violence, perpetuating the myth that false allegations are common. Gray draws on media reports, courtroom observations, and interviews with silence breakers, activists, and lawyers from across Canada to examine the impact of so-called liar lawsuits on those who report or are thinking of reporting sexual violence, and on public discourse. Her meticulous work reveals the gendered underpinnings of defamation law, which has long protected men’s reputations at the expense of women’s sexual autonomy.

Suing for Silence argues that such suits ought to be recognized as Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs), whose purpose is not to achieve justice but to intimidate, silence, and drain the financial and emotional resources of those who speak out against sexual violence and even report their own assaults – and to discourage others from doing the same. Sexual violence discourse must have adequate protection if it is to be heard.

Mandi Gray is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Trent University and an anti-violence activist. She is regularly featured in Canadian media on issues pertaining to sexual violence, including in the Toronto StarGlobe and MailToronto Life, and on the CBC.

Part of the Authors Unbound literary event series.

Posted by Megan M.
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