October 3, 2018 8:02 am
Updated: October 4, 2018 11:35 am

Lucy DeCoutere to talk about trauma, resiliency, at Fanshawe College

Lucy DeCoutere leaves the Toronto courthouse following the reading of the verdict in the Jian Ghomeshi sexual assault trial on Thursday, March 24, 2016.

Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS
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Canadian actress Lucy DeCoutere is coming to London’s Fanshawe College to talk with students about overcoming trauma and the aftermath of a widely publicized sexual assault trial in which she testified two years ago.

The former Trailer Park Boys actor is a ranking officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force and has been speaking out about violence against women after accusing former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi of sexual assault.

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She’s the fourth guest of Fanshawe’s RedTalks, and her talk is sold out.

READ MORE: ‘It came from out of nowhere’: Actress describes being told Jian Ghomeshi choked Lucy DeCoutere

“I think every single person over the age of two has something they have to overcome. Whether it’s losing something, or losing a person, to surviving something terrible and traumatic,” DeCoutere told 980 CFPL.

She describes her experience testifying against Ghomeshi as being on the “extreme end of the things,” but says the process of overcoming difficulties remains the same.

“I can talk about that from a fairly informed position,” she said.

“Resilience is not a linear path that you follow.”

Ghomeshi was found not guilty of all charges in the spring of 2016. DeCoutere said the reaction to her allegations, on social media, has been unkind.

READ MORE: Jian Ghomeshi found not guilty at sex assault trial

“I can get a thousand messages of kindness, and then I can get one really violent horrible message from somebody, and that’ll just wreck my day.”

But in real life, it’s been a different story.

“Any person who I’ve ever spoken with, as a human rather than on the internet, has been nothing but totally respectful and supportive and kind and nurturing.”

Hundreds of people have approached her with their own stories of sexual assault. DeCoutere notes that more people are probably talking about violence against women, but victims are reporting it differently.

“Because of the way its shown that women are treated in sexual assault trials, reporting to the police may have dropped,” she said.

READ MORE: Sexual assault helpline saw 147% spike during Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony

“I read a statistic that while Dr. Ford was giving her statement last week with regards to [Brett] Kavanaugh, apparently during that time sexual assault centres were having spikes in reports they were getting.”

During her talk at Fanshawe College, DeCoutere said she’ll be “as available as they need me to be.”

She won’t be talking about her work on the set of Trailer Park Boys, noting that she’s “closed that chapter” of her life.

With files from 980 CFPL’s Devon Peacock.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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