Blog: How I Became an Unlikely Whistleblower

writing to save kids from abuse

#1: From writing for fun to writing to save kids from abuse

In the picture above, you can see that I am calm and surrounded by copies of my wine thriller Crush that was a lot of fun to write. There I am, signing copies at an event held at Burrowing Owl Winery in the Okanagan—a wine-growing region in British Columbia, Canada—where the thriller is set. This…

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Unwilling Bystander

#2: Unwilling Bystander

The reason I described myself in the last blog as an “unwilling bystander,” before I stepped into the whistleblower role, is because I knew about an abusive teacher, but my attempts to stop his harmful treatment got me nowhere. Instead, I encountered all sorts of administrative gestures like having to meet with the abusive teacher…

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#3: Taking off the rose-coloured glasses

I had always been a believer in education, justice, and government in my country. You would have thought that the five years I watched how the school administrators handled the abuse reports about the one teacher, who was ultimately fired, would have shown me a cover up culture at work, but belief-systems constructed through childhood…

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#4: When a sheeple turns into an unlikely whistleblower

It’s one thing to be a whistleblower when fraud is being perpetuated, money is being stolen, privacy is under surveillance, but it’s quite another to be a whistleblower when children are being harmed. The whistleblower is often commended for his courage as he knows he’ll be swiftly attacked for speaking up. Whistleblowers almost always lose…

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#5: One percent of the population

Research shows that whistleblowers don’t leap onto the path guns blazing. No. Whistleblowers try everything they can to solve the problem internally so as not to rock the boat, expose wrongdoers, cause trouble. That’s certainly the way I tried to address the situation in my small way, absolutely lacking any goal to go public. Along…

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#6: Unlikely whistleblower’s fear

While whistleblowers are often praised after the fact for being courageous, few talk about how frightening it is to take this role. Dorothy Suskind writes that “whistleblowers place themselves in the path of an oncoming train in an effort to force a reckoning.” I cannot tell you how many times I have bemoaned the fact…

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#7: Reporting Abuse Versus Being a Whistleblower

            If you haven’t been following the story, this is a picture of Kyle Beach who yesterday moved from abuse victim into the whistleblower role as covered on TSN. I told you at the start, I decided to write this blog series because I believe we can all become whistleblowers, make it a healthy part…

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#8: Whistleblowers have to blow up the village

Two blog posts ago, I shared about how a spotlight was trained on our house to scare us. Didn’t work because the real spotlight I’m interested in is the one that exposes child abuse. Hopefully you’ve seen the film Spotlight about relentless journalists exposing rampant child abuse in the Catholic Churches of Boston. People say…

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#9: Choosing the path of self-sacrifice

Now that I have been in the unlikely whistleblower position, I realize that for any other individual who feels the unthinking impulse to speak up, she really needs to know who she’s up against. As I’ve said before, I had no plan to be a whistleblower. It just happened. I had drawn some kind of…

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#10: When those in power won’t stop abuse

We tend to imagine being a whistleblower as raising one’s hand and saying “no, that’s not okay,” or sending in a brown envelope with incriminating materials, or being a “deep throat” who exposes corruption to someone who will take action. We expect that in a shocking, revelatory moment that those who have done wrong will…

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#11: Erin Brockoviching

It’s one thing to know the definition of the whistleblower, but it’s another to examine what exactly they do. I mean what does the job actually entail? No matter what context whistleblowing occurs in—from exposing corporate poisoning of the environment to reporting that children are being abused and the government is covering it up—the job…

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#12: It takes a village to be a whistleblower

            The village that a whistleblower needs is not only others who report abuse – and at my son’s school there were at least 12 to 14 students in that one year alone, along with their infuriated and vocal parents. In the whistleblower crisis at Amazon, there were two courageous employees. Emily Cunningham and Maren…

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#13: Time to Clean Up

One of the lessons I learned on the path of being an unlikely whistleblower was that my crime of “committing the truth” would be judged harshly while those in the wrong, either perpetrators of abuse or those enabling them, would receive hearty applause for their puppet show. When I say puppet show, what I mean…

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