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Sexually abused as child, says Jagmeet

Posted in Featured, Talking Politics

Published on May 01, 2019 with No Comments

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has revealed that he was sexually abused by his taekwondo teacher when he was 10 years’ old and said it was one of his regrets in life that he kept quiet about the assault. The 40-year-old Sikh leader of the New Democratic Party in his memoir said the abuse took place in 1980s while he was growing up in Windsor, Ontario, the Global News reported.

Jagmeet created political history in Canada last month when he made his debut in the House of Commons as the first non-white leader of a major opposition party in the country. In his book, “Love and courage: My story of family, resilience and overcoming the unexpected”, he said the instructor, who he only referred to as Mr N, offered him personal classes at his home dojo. He said his instructor had since died.

“As a kid, I was so embarrassed and ashamed of what happened, I didn’t talk to anyone about it,” Jagmeet told the channel. “And it wasn’t until almost a decade later that I spoke to another human being about it. The first time I heard the words that it wasn’t my fault was something that just cracked open my heart.” Jagmeet said he didn’t think the coach was ever charged. “One of my regrets in my life is I didn’t come forward when he was alive. Maybe I would have been able to give some closure to other folks and maybe prevent something from happening in the future,” he added.

Jagmeet said he hoped his book would help others who had been abused to speak up and realise it’s not their fault.

“A part of writing this book is a way for me to make up for something that I regret that I didn’t come forward and maybe help other people have the courage to come forward if that’s right for them, but most importantly, to have people heal, for them to know it’s not their fault,” he said. In his memoir, the NDP leader also wrote about racism and bullying he faced during his childhood.

 

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