“The AFC made me feel like I was part of a community”
– Pamela Sinha
Imagine you’re very young, in a new city, living on your own for the first time. You fall asleep, dreaming about your first day at the National Theatre School of Canada, and wake to the crash of your door being kicked in. What follows, over the next several hours, is beyond imagining.
By some miracle, you live. By the force of your will you graduate and enjoy a successful career, culminating in the role a woman who survives a brutal rape. The day after the play closes — seven years after that night — your body collapses … you can’t move.
Your parents find an inpatient care facility for women victims of violent crime – the only one in North America. But you’re denied coverage because you have a degree, a job, a boyfriend … and anyway, it was too long ago. Your parents spend much of their savings to allow you to stay in the hospital for over a month and a half.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Syndrome — it’s real what is happening to you and it has a name. The hospital finds you a specialist in rape trauma and memory recovery. Again, not covered. You feel useless. Worthless. You can do nothing to help the people who are fighting to keep you alive.
Then someone tells you about The AFC. It asked no more of me than the people I love most. It told me that if I was willing to fight for my life, The AFC would help me. I am proud to write these lines today, as a working actor, to thank The AFC for their support, and for making me feel like I am part of a community that cares so deeply.