Carrie Low is an accomplished and acclaimed victim-turned-advocate for survivor’s rights in the Criminal Justice System in Nova Scotia. In 2018, Carrie experienced a violent sexual assault which she immediately reported to the police. As a result of reporting this incident and experiencing many systemic failures, she quickly became a known advocate for systemic change. Carrie has now undertaken a mission to hold institutions accountable for failures against survivors and to improve conditions for the rights of future survivors.
In 2020, on behalf of all survivors of sexualized violence, Carrie achieved a very significant change in the law concerning municipal police complaints. Carrie argued that six-months is a grossly inadequate period of time to submit a police complaint. Carrie demanded that the law acknowledge that survivor’s are often unable to process their trauma, and the subsequent police misconduct within a six-month timeframe.
Photo Credit Kylee Nunn/Ex-Freelance Photographer
As a result of Carrie’s stand against injustice, complainants now have up to 12-months to make complaints against municipal police forces in Nova Scotia. In fact, if there are good reasons that are not contrary to public interest then the police complaints commissioner can extend the time period beyond the 12-month period.
Carrie’s success in 2020 was far from the end of Carrie’s fight. For the past five years Carrie has been enmeshed in a lengthy and complex criminal trial. In 2021, the first accused in Carrie’s criminal case was murdered and her case was dismissed. In early 2022, police and the prosecution revealed a new accused individual to try for sexual assault and in May of 2023, a provincial judge acquitted the accused due to lack of evidence. Carrie’s ongoing Nova Scotia Police Review Board hearing has now been scheduled for July 10-24, 2023 and civil lawsuit against the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been further delayed.
Over five years after Carrie’s sexual assault, she has yet to receive justice for the violence committed against her both by the accused, and by the police. But Carrie has never given up her mission to challenge legal and police institutions so that future survivors may experience meaningful justice. In fact, Carrie has created two organizations to address the lack of legal advocacy and peer support for victims and survivors of sexualized violence.
In October 2020, Carrie founded Survivors for Change and Empowerment which is a network for victims and survivors of sexualized violence. A year later, Carrie began Carrie Low Training and Consulting to offer trauma-informed training and consulting to professional justice institutions to ensure that survivors are treated appropriately and in hopes that access to meaningful justice for survivors can be achieved.
Listen to season 11 of CBC's Uncover: Carrie Low Vs. Carrie reported a horrific rape to police, but was ultimately left more traumatized and with more questions than answers.
Follow award-winning, investigative journalist Maggie Rahr as she sets out to share Carrie's story and hold the various institutions responsible for their conduct and failures in investigating Carrie's case.
A transcript version of this powerful story is also available by CBC here.
Introducing: Carrie Low VS.
Episode 1: Taken
Episode 2: Aftermath
Episode 3: Believed
Episode 4: Charged
Episode 5: Unstoppable
Epilogue: A Death in Dartmouth