Assault & AFCOOP
The Nov 16 post by Tara Thorne at thecoast.ca, “Sexual assault allegations at Atlantic Filmmakers Co-Operative,” included the contents of confidential emails between an anonymous woman (claiming to have been sexual assaulted by an AFCOOP staff member) and the director of AFCOOP. By what right was Tara Thorne permitted to make public the contents of these emails? She also announced that AFCOOP’s popular annual Christmas event was cancelled before the members themselves received the news! Her article poured paraffin on the fire, and caused a number of arts organizations to quickly cobble together their own policy regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault. In a statement circulated Nov 24, these organizations act as both judge and jury on AFCOOP’s supposed failure to resolve the issue without having the full facts of the case at their disposal. I feel strongly that arts organizations of all disciplines should come together to support each other in times of crisis and show compassion rather then pointing fingers and self righteously dictating what actions should be taken by the organization in crisis.
—Violet Rosengarten, Halifax