The Doc Project

My middle aged heart hurts: confronting a sexual assault 30 years later

Alison Menard says she was sexually assaulted at a party as a young teen. She kept quiet about the fear and pain of that night for three decades. That all changed last year when she reached out to Moncton-based producer Vanessa Blanch.
(Nicolas Armer/AFP/Getty Images)
Listen to the full episode27:29

Some memories are like shadows — thin and hard to pin down.

They slip away when you focus on them, details are blurry. But then there are those memories that won't leave you alone ... no matter how much you want them to. Today one woman faces a dark memory, and shares her story after 30 years of silence.

Alison Menard says she was sexually assaulted at a party as a young teen. She kept quiet about the fear and pain of that night for three decades. That all changed last year when she reached out to Moncton-based producer Vanessa Blanch. Together they produced this documentary, My Middle Aged Heart Hurts.

It's a story which recounts that awful night from so many years ago, and also asks why these stories of sexual assault are still so common today.

Personal essay details story of assault that happened 30 years ago

(Submitted by Alison Menard)
By Alison Menard, Posted by CBC News: Dec. 13, 2015

They ran me through the woods, one on each side. It was mid-June 1985 and I was wearing my friend's underwear, which she had hastily thrust at me after I came to and realized I was naked.

I couldn't find my own underwear as I lurched around the strange house, eyes swimming, brain confused, body - ? I had no idea.

By that time, I was really late getting home and I was beginning to realize I was going to be in a lot of trouble.

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About the producer
Vanessa Blanch (CBC)

Vanessa Blanch joined CBC in 2000 and her career has taken her from coast-to-coast. She has worked as a reporter, news editor, host and producer in Fredericton, Prince Rupert and Moncton. She loves the daily challenge of delivering the news to Information Morning Moncton listeners and is also an award-winning documentary maker.