NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has published a memoir in which he outlines allegations that he was sexually abused by a taekwondo coach when he was 10 years old.
In his book, Love & Courage: My Story of Family, Resilience and Overcoming the Unexpected, Singh said the abuse occurred while he was growing up in Windsor, Ont. He says he denied anything happened to his mother at the time.
“As a kid, I was so embarrassed and ashamed of what happened, I didn’t talk to anyone about it,” Singh told Global News.
“And it wasn’t until almost a decade later that I spoke to another human being about it. The first time I heard the words that it wasn’t my fault was something that just cracked open my heart.”
Singh said he doesn’t think the coach was ever charged and that the coach has since passed away.
“One of my regrets in my life is I didn’t come forward when he was alive. Maybe I would have been able to give some closure to other folks and maybe prevent something from happening in the future,” he added.
Singh said he hopes his book will help others who have been abused to speak up and realize it’s not their fault.
“A part of writing this book is a way for me to make up for something that I regret that I didn’t come forward (about) and maybe help other people have the courage to come forward if that’s right for them, but most importantly, to have people heal, for them to know it’s not their fault,” he said.
Love & Courage: My Story of Family, Resilience and Overcoming the Unexpected was released on Tuesday.