The Threats to Women Journalists

Death threats. Racist taunts. Vows of violence. Inside the increasingly personal attacks targeting Canadian female journalists, there have been so many and so public that they have turned their targets into a media star, a national celebrity.

In the first half of 2017, three of Canada’s most prominent female journalists have received threats of physical and/or sexual violence, and two of them have received death threats and death threats of murder. At least three of the threats against women journalists have involved male associates of the journalists. The threats were not random but against female journalists targeted by male journalists. And while, as a whole, the attacks that occurred on female journalists were not overtly violent in nature, they were certainly violent enough to be threatening enough to provoke immediate action.

Some of the threats occurred while the women were on camera, in the press conferences where they were giving their statements, or at their home or at their office. There was also a threat to the police, although it was later taken down. The most recent threats came just a few weeks ago when women journalists from across Canada met at a private resort in Muskoka.

Many of the women who have received death threats also have received death threats of murder. One man, who had threatened to murder not only the journalists but also their families, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder.

On October the 4th, a man threatened to kill a female journalist at The Ottawa Citizen. The threat was made, according to the journalist, via Facebook, a day after she had written an editorial condemning the death threats. The Citizen has since issued a statement saying the death threats against the woman were taken very seriously and referred the matter to the RCMP. The RCMP confirmed that it was investigating the incident.

The day after the Toronto Star reporter, Sophie Richardson, was threatened by a man calling her a “b*tch.” The article, called “B*tch, Sophie: It’s a name she has used to describe herself for years” was published that day in the Toronto Star. In it, she wrote, “I

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