MP’s suggest reform to how sexual assault publication bans are applied


Kelly Favro never thought she’d have something to celebrate when it came to her journey as a sexual assault survivor.

“It was a lot of relief. It was a lot of happiness. It was a lot of crying,” said Favro. “This is historical and it’s monumental and it’s going to make it so much easier for people to say their name.”

In 2015 Favro was restrained against her will and violently sexually assaulted for two hours by Kenneth Charles Erickson, someone she had been casually seeing.

“I had marks on my wrists and my ankles. I was bruised, I had my underwear ripped,” Favro told CHEK News in 2021

For six years, she wasn’t able to talk about it, because of a publication ban crown put on her case without her consent.

“No one told me what it meant, I didn’t know what that entailed,” said Favro.

Since then, Kelly has been fighting for change in Canada’s justice system with regard to how publication bans are applied to sexual assault survivors. Favro, alongside other sexual assault survivors from around Canada, brought the fight for change to Ottawa this past fall.

Mp’s voiced their support of the survivors, but their recent report goes even further, calling for reform to Canada’s Criminal Code.

They made two recommendations with sexual assault survivors in mind:

  1. That section 486.4 of the Criminal Code be amended so that victims must be informed before a publication ban is imposed and given the opportunity to opt out at any time in the process.

  2. That, recognizing the importance of the principle of prosecutorial independence, training be given to Crown prosecutors across the country with regard to the needs of victims concerning publication bans.

Joining the fight is Victoria MP Laurel Collin, who is supporting Favro’s petition, which has more than 1,000 signatures.

“These issues should be important to all members of parliament, but also close to home because I am also a survivor of sexualized violence,” said Collins.

Collins says she’s piling on the pressure in Ottawa while compiling a private members bill of her own. But private bills aren’t prioritized, with many dying on the floor without being heard.

“The quickest way for us to fix this issue is for the government to put legislation forward and to fix it,” said Collins.

For Favro, this new report means she finally feels heard and has hope that no one has to fight as she did through Canada’s justice system just to tell their story.

“I was alone in pleading my case, with a high school education, that the judge would grant me to say my name. I hope no other woman has to go through what I had to go through,” said Favro.

“It should be my choice, it should be your choice and her choice and her choice, if they get the ban on her name or not. And as of right now, it isn’t, but the recommendations coming make it seem like that’s going to change.”

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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