Sex assault survivor suing Ontario police over alleged mishandling of complaint to speak in Montreal

The university student at the heart of the Globe and Mail's investigation last year into how police dismissed many sexual assault allegations will be talking about her own experience in Montreal tomorrow.

Ava Williams is speaking at a seminar on campus sexual violence organized by the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations and the Concordia Student Union.

The newspaper said that when Williams reported her sexual assault to London, Ontario police, the detective dismissed it as unfounded, relying on rape myths and stereotypes. Williams is now suing alleging systemic discrimination based on gender.

The newspaper found that one in five sexual-assault allegations reported in Canada was dismissed as unfounded, prompting police to review thousands of cases and promising reform.

Williams said it's sparked a cultural shift.

"I think that there's starting to be a shift in universities and on campuses as well, where we talk about consent more, what is sexual assault, how do we tackle it," said Williams in an interview with CJAD 800 News.

"With the #MeToo movement, with the #TimesUp movement, even with Unfounded last year, I think that discussion is really important when we're talking about these issues."

Williams, a law student at Western University,  said she's speaking out to help others, especially those who feel they don't have a voice.

"I've received countless messages from folks who've experienced something very similar who now feel like they're not alone," said Williams.

"I'm so fortunate that I've been given many different opportunities to speak about what happened to me and why it was wrong and I think people are starting to listen."

The seminar tonight and tomorrow is open to the public. Anyone interested must register by email at