J's Story - Scarborough General Hospital, Ontario

2005 - About a year after I moved to Toronto, I was homeless and struggling to survive. After an attempted assault against me, it was ordered that I be put into a foster home that serves youth under the age of 18. I was sexually assaulted by a person with authority in the home. When the social worker came the next day, she did not believe what happened and said I was merely "causing mischief". After 4 more days of constant assaults, and the social worker not believing me, I ran away.

About a month later I discovered I was pregnant and went to 5 different walk-in clinics until someone would agree to see me. They all accused me of trying to solicit narcotics (I don't even drink alcohol) and refused to see me. At the 5th clinic, the doctor said "this is what you get for selling your body for drugs" and wrote a referral to the hospital to have an abortion.

On the day of my appointment, the procedure was delayed 6 hours because I was under the age of 16 and did not have a parent with me to "drive me home". While prepping for the procedure, the nurses wouldn't even acknowledge my presence. They did their jobs without treating me like I'm human, or even a sentient being.

When the doctor entered the room, he said something along the lines of "another one? how stupid girls are these days" and treated me with the same regard as the nurses did. Not one person asked what happened. Not one person treated me with dignity. Not one person offered to help. The only thing they offered was to try and coerce me into sterilization. 

I was 14 when this happened.

I was suicidal for years, and the way people treated me after the assault is a big factor in that. I attempted suicide about two weeks after the procedure. The hospital refused to let me stay after 72 hours because I was "just looking for a bed to mooch".

I still feel resentment about this. The main reason being it is 2018, over a decade later, and this is still a common story when it comes to sexual assault and abortions.

I was 14 and homeless. I am First Nations and gender-queer/2S. I didn't have the voice I have now, at 14. So, I never gave them feedback.

Submitted by J