Rana Zaman, on the lessons we must draw from latest sexual abuse cases within the Catholic Church. “My response – blame the predators, the higher ups and the institutions that protect these despicable abusers, but don’t blame the religion. The religion is not to blame for the vile acts of some of its practitioners.”

The Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia (CFS- NS) has been informed that they are not invited to the first meeting the government’s newly reinstated provincial Sexual Violence Prevention Committee to address sexual assault on university campuses. This decision comes as continued retaliation by the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, Labi Kousoulis, against the CFS-NS, after an op-ed was published in The Coast on March 15 that was critical of the Liberal government’s decision to vote down campus sexual violence legislation.

The Department of Education will no longer meet with CFS-NS representatives because it didn’t like a Coast op-ed written by its Chairperson, Aidan McNally. The editorial was critical of the government’s unwillingness to deal with sexual violence on campus. “It is our responsibility to hold elected governments accountable to students, not to placate them. If we are doing the latter, we are not serving our members’ interests. The decision of this government to shut students out of representative spaces due to criticism is unacceptable,” writes the CFS-NS provincial executive committee in an open letter.

Applied to current events, no march on Saturday will be better than any other. However, ensuring that there are marches in rural as well as urban areas is crucial in signifying both difference in lived experience and togetherness in the struggle for female empowerment, writes Lori Oliver. She then takes a closer look at two key problems for women in rural Nova Scotia are difficulties accessing abortion services and a higher rate of domestic, intimate partner violence—both of which disastrously intersect with how women continue to earn, on average, 87 cents to men’s $1. Barriers faced by racialized groups are even more severe.

A new poem by El Jones. TRIGGER WARNING: 80-90 percent of women in prison are victims of physical and sexual assault. Yet because they are “criminals” what happens to them at the hands of the system must be something they deserve. When we talk about injustice to rape victims in Canadian courts where are their stories?

Reporter Rebecca Hussman with the second part of her series on sexual assaults in Nova Scotia. “There’s a whole societal change that needs to happen for victims to feel believed and supported enough to be able to report that to police.”

According to data gathered by journalists at the Globe and Mail, of all cases in the country, 12% of sexual assault cases were cleared as unfounded from 2010 to 2014. In Nova Scotia, in contrast, 25% of sexual assault cases were cleared as unfounded. The “Unfounded” classification means that police determined that the reported violation did not happen. Reporter Rebecca Hussman talks with the chiefs of police of the Truro, Amherst and Bridgewater detachments where the number of unfounded cases is exceptionally high. And we compiled a list with data from all police detachments in Nova Scotia.