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AJAs 2020 Finalists

Raped, Pregnant and Alone in a Foreign Land


Date Aired or Published October 13, 2020
Media outlet where first aired or published: CBC
Name of Program: On The Go
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: St. John's
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio): 11:55

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

20 Sorrel Drive St. John’s, NL A1B 4S4 22nd January 2021. Dear Jury, Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter that pens the journey of 'Raped, Pregnant and Alone in a Foreign Land.’ After freelancing for over two years, I was hired by CBC NL as an Associate Producer in the summer of 2020 and quickly took to pitching as a Reporter/Editor while working with the team of On The Go. This story came into my purview in the spring of 2019. When I heard of the harrowing tale of a teenager international exchange student, allegedly raped in her country of origin, and finding herself pregnant in the host country, seeking an abortion, my heart went out to her and my gut propelled me to find more about this occurrence. Digging deeper what unravelled was a story that shone light on the lack of access to abortion services in the province, as seen through the eyes of an international exchange student that wasn’t fluent in English. It also brought alive the tenacity of the student who, along with the support of the team at Athena Healthcentre (the province’s only abortion clinic), ensured that she was able to receive the care she needed. Over the span of a year and half, through investigative research & interviews (on and off record) in Newfoundland and Labrador and the girl’s country of origin, what became clear is the larger story of the extent to which abortion clinics like Athena Healthcentre may have to go to in order to provide services to their clientele. The piece took more than a year to come together and was filled with numerous tiny details that we tried to pack into nearly twelve minutes of airtime. As the only South Asian, immigrant, woman of colour diagnosed with an invisible disability in 2020 and working inside a homogenous province and newsroom, with no formal training or education in the field of journalism and as a new hire, learning the systems and the ways of the corporation I was employed with (at the time), bringing this piece alive did more to me than just telling a story. The piece amplified the content diversity of the broadcaster all while helping the public educate themselves on issues pertaining to women of colour living and residing in Newfoundland and Labrador. I thank you for your time. Looking forward to hearing from you. Prajwala Dixit

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

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