Toronto Rave Culture and Rape Prevention


She sits across from me, nervous. Her blue hair covers part of her face, and she plays with her lip ring nervously. I order a couple of coffees from the waitress. This is Cheryl*, a slight girl with beautiful eyes and a colourful wardrobe. At sixteen, she finds all age parties to be the best place to go and have fun with her friends in the city on weekends. Cheryl is a raver.

We talk a little about what type of music she likes and which local events she’s looking forward to, but the nervousness doesn’t pass. It is because of the reason I’ve asked her to meet with me: to discuss what happened to her last year. Cheryl is also a survivor of rape.

“It’s not the scene,” she says. “Most people in the scene are really nice. I think a lot of the older people really remember what it was like for them and try to make events fun and safe. I was just not thinking…” she trails off, tears welling up in her eyes.

Continue reading

Fight or Flight: The Difference Between Stress and PTSD

By MindfulAide

Everyone has felt stressed out at some point in time.

A looming deadline approaches and you don’t feel prepared. You haven’t completed something that you know should be done. There’s something going on at home, or at school, and it puts considerable emotional pressure on you.

10402476_10203664327632198_266548456325420440_n (2)It feels as if there is a weight on your shoulders and chest. You feel bogged down and heavy. It may be hard to concentrate or sleep, you may be tense, or maybe you’re jittery. This is stress. It is a normal human reaction to not feeling like you can cope with a situation or obstacle.

This type of stress can be managed using a variety of coping mechanisms such as working out, journal writing, meditation, reaching out to friends/family, working on a solution with time management and/or assertiveness training, or communication with others. Managing stress is an important part of life for everyone.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has many similar symptoms as regular stress, and some additional ones, but the most important thing is that PTSD cannot be managed using only the traditional stress management coping mechanisms. Continue reading

When ‘Yes’ Means ‘No’: How to Identify Rape

By MindfulAide

Trigger Warning: themes of sexual assault

I knew him from my group of friends in high school. He was in university, he had drugs on hand that I had never heard of, and he loved to dance. One night while smoking weed with some friends he innocently asked me if I had ever been to a dark rave, and would I like to go dancing with him and his girlfriend? She seemed cool, and I would have loved to get to know her more, so I said yes. I was barely fifteen, and they were well into their twenties. We all ordered in pizza, ate, and then started drinking magic mushroom tea. Then we dropped acid. Then we popped MDMA. It is at that point things get a little fuzzy around the edges.

I remember being at the club – no idea how I got in – and eventually not being able to stand anymore. His girlfriend  disappeared; were they arguing? He gave me another alcoholic drink. I remember not being able to walk properly outside the club. After that there are flashes of some sexual acts, but I was really out of it. I remember puking into a toilet for a long time afterwards.

I woke up the next day naked in his bed. He had his clothes on. He told me that he wanted me to get out, so I got dressed and left still somewhat buzzing. I knew I had sex with him, my clothes were everywhere, and I did remember doing it. I just felt incredibly guilty. I felt as though I had cheated on my boyfriend. I felt I did something wrong. I knew I must have agreed to it because I was enjoying what I could remember… didn’t I? I never said no, did I? I must have agreed. I must have.

Continue reading