An illuminating, timely look at the changing landscape of sexual politics by a write whose earlier newspaper series on the handling of sexual assault complaints in Canada won that nation's top prizes for investigative journalism and inspired a nationwide overhaul of police policy, training and oversight.
For nearly two years, Globe and Mail reporter Robyn Doolittle investigated how Canadian police handle sexual assault cases. Her findings were shocking: across the country, in big cities and small towns, the system was dismissing a high number of allegations as "unfounded." Of the 26,500 reported cases of sexual assault in 2015, only 1,400 resulted in convictions.
Had It Coming picks up where the Unfounded series left off. Doolittle brings a personal voice to what has been a turning point for most women: the #MeToo movement and its aftermath. The world is now increasingly aware of the pervasiveness of rape culture in which powerful men got away with sexual assault and harassment for years: from Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly, and Matt Lauer, to Charlie Rose and Jian Ghomeshi. But Doolittle looks beyond specific cases to the big picture. The issue of "consent" figures largely: not only is the public confused about what it means, but an astounding number of legal authorities are too. The brain's reaction to trauma and how it affects memory is also crucial to understanding victim statements. Had It Coming is not a diatribe or manifesto, but a nuanced and informed look at how attitudes around sexual behaviour have changed and still need to change.