AJAs 2016 Finalists
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Short explanation of the story and how it developed:A woman called the newsroom about her homeless friend found on the side of Highway 101 after a hitchhiking incident. She claimed she refused sexual advances of a truck driver and was pushed out of the vehicle. The victim, in the hospital with significant injuries, wanted to share her story but she was unsure of what to say. She felt vulnerable, abandoned by community supports and said the RCMP wasn't taking her case seriously. She was also desperate to find her cat which ran away during the incident. I drove to the hospital twice to interview her initially over two afternoons. The second time I brought my laptop so she could see for herself the overwhelming support she had from Nova Scotians by reading comments posted on social media responding to the first story. Daisy was eventually found just over three months later by pet detectives who knew her story because of the media coverage. The RCMP are still investigating the matter. Hannah, relocated but still recovering, plans on advocating for better treatment for women who are victims of assault.
Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:Initially two afternoons, then we corresponded by email and phone after. I spent some time helping co-ordinate some supports for her, and on Christmas eve, brought her a small christmas tree as she had moved into her new apartment a day before and had nothing but boxes and Daisy.