A year after Canada banned conversion remedy, Ottawa says no criminal charges laid & More Trending News


Gemma Hickey in Toronto on Nov. 17, 2021.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

Gemma Hickey says after they have been of their teenagers, they went to a faith-based conversion remedy practitioner who had them pray and browse literature to attempt to make them heterosexual.

“When I was vulnerable, I went to see someone, because I thought she could help me. And in the end, it almost resulted in me ending my life,” Hickey mentioned in an interview.

Hickey, who’s now of their forties, mentioned that weak younger individuals are nonetheless present process such remedy, and it’s going unreported regardless of the apply turning into a criminal offense a year in the past.

The Justice Department says it isn’t conscious of any charges or prosecutions underneath the brand new criminal code offences prohibiting conversion remedy, which got here into power on Jan. 7 final year.

Conversion remedy is the apply of trying to alter a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or to alter their gender identification to match the intercourse they have been assigned at beginning.

Michael Kwag, a director on the Community-Based Research Centre in Toronto, mentioned there was “jubilation” when the regulation was handed, however extra work must be executed in order that it may be actioned on by prosecutors and police.

“Enforcement was always going to be a major issue with a criminalization approach to ending conversion practices,” Kwag mentioned.

He mentioned that traditionally, LGBTQ communities have had a “fraught relationship” with police providers, however the criminal justice system continues to require victims to return ahead and make a grievance.

“More education and awareness are needed, so people know where they can make a complaint and have confidence they’re doing so in a secure way,” he mentioned.

Nick Schiavo, founding father of No Conversion Canada, mentioned one of many challenges with conversion remedy is that it “always kind of happened in the shadows.”

“Asking survivors to come forward and relive that trauma, or that stigma or that guilt or that shame or whatever they feel, is very, very hard,” he mentioned.

“One of the kind of analogies or comparisons that we use is to sexual assault.”

Schiavo mentioned conversion remedy continues to be pervasive and generally victims are hesitant to talk up.

“It’s not until they’re later in life, when they’re older and they understand more about the issue, that they realize what they’ve gone through is, in fact, conversion therapy. Because nobody’s told them. There’s been no education,” he mentioned.

Schiavo mentioned the ban nonetheless has a task to play, as a result of it may act as a deterrent to anybody contemplating providing conversion remedy providers.

But he mentioned extra must be executed to help survivors, and there must be extra training about conversion remedy.

Kwag mentioned the federal authorities ought to spend money on training and consciousness campaigns so folks can higher determine conversion practices.

“It’s also about funding affirming, community-based supports that are a low barrier for people who have been impacted by conversion practices, as well as people who might be vulnerable to it,” he mentioned. These could possibly be “alternatives” to the apply itself, he added.

Hickey agreed that elevating consciousness about what conversion remedy is, and who may be weak to it, stays essential.

“Just because we’ve worked hard to change laws, doesn’t mean that attitudes and beliefs have changed.”

A year after Canada banned conversion remedy, Ottawa says no criminal charges laid

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A year after Canada banned conversion remedy, Ottawa says no criminal charges laid

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A year after Canada banned conversion remedy, Ottawa says no criminal charges laid

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