Rose McGowan has been saying for 20 years that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her. It was her words bravely spoken publicly that ultimately resulted in him being outed for the predator that he was. Eighty some women have now come forward with their own experiences of being assaulted. Rose spawned a #metoo movement that has given voice to millions upon millions worldwide to find their voice as well. This is a perfect example of how the power of voice to name gives space for others to be in their truth. My hat is off to Rose McGowan. It is only perpetrators and enablers that want victims to be silenced.
My predatory therapist was not and will never come to the level of notoriety as Weinstein. That said it is not without a great deal of consideration that I speak her name in a community that knows her well. Some, including ex-clients, think of her as generous, honest, and politically in sync with feminist thought around violence against women. Others long ago recognized the harm she was inflicting and the poor boundaries she exercised around her work with survivors of trauma. It is into that climate that I, after several decades, finally am able to speak my truths. Some will hate that I am doing this and others will appreciate the validation for what they suspected (or knew) all along.
While there was no contemporaneous criminal case that named my predatory therapist, in March of 2018, the Crime Victims Assistance Program of BC, after reviewing documents and evidence concluded that "there is sufficient evidence to determine that Ms. Fox is a victim of sexual assault by the accused [Pamela Sleeth]."
I name Pamela because it is the truth. In my memoir, "Coming To Voice: Surviving a Predatory Therapist" (see below), I worked to be scrupulously honest and as fair as I could be to Pamela. Spoken testimony is evidence in a court of law. My words come also backed up with evidence. The book itself provides much documentation to support my disclosures.
I name Pamela because I want us all to rethink what a predator looks like. Doing so may mean another client will recognize what is occurring faster than I did.
None of this, of course, makes naming her or talking about this easy. There are so many ways that folks in this world, unconsciously or consciously, work to protect the offender. I have experienced many in the last few months. None of it will stop me from continuing to name my predatory therapist.
I name Pamela because, if I lived in a province (other than BC Canada) that regulated therapists, this information would be publicly and readily available. The Association she was a member of would have been unimpeded in their investigation. Like the College of Psychologists and that of the Physicians and Surgeons, the information about her transgressions would have been publicly listed on their website (see screenshot to the left). Instead, I live in a province that does not regulate counsellors. Anyone with a shingle, a marker, and money to advertise can call themself a therapist regardless of lack of training. If they become a member of one of the many Associations or Societies, investigations are quickly shut down by simple act of resigning. After my complaint regarding her transgressions in our relationship, she resigned. The investigation was immediately closed.
I name Pamela because I know there are other survivors of hers out there who like me once believed she could do no wrong. I want them to know someone else has walked that path. I want them to know someone else knows what she did.