On May 8, 2010, I was sexually assaulted in my home. I reported the crime to the Cobourg Police Services. This was the first time I met Detective Frank Francella. He was very kind with me during the interview and halfway through questioning me, he stopped, put his pen down and rolled his chair over to where I was sitting and very quietly told me that not only did he believe me but that I was doing the right thing by reporting it and that we would be done soon and that I could get through the rest of the interview. I will never forget how those words impacted me that day and still do to this day.
The same detective or rather, this incredible example of a man, has remained one of my main supporters who has been there through this whole experience, trial preps, cancelled court appearances, the trial, the verdict, the sentencing and my occasional meltdowns. He is still supporting me through the appeal process and at the time of that hearing, it will be over 6 years since the assault. He has indulged me by freezing his butt off while fighting a cold to support me while I spoke on the December 6th National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and again at the Cobourg Waterfront in the middle of January for two hours so Global Television 16X9 could film us together and then never air that sequence. He may have started out as a police officer interviewing me on one of the most horrible days of my life but he has become someone I am so blessed to call a friend. He has made me laugh when I wanted to cry and talked all about himself on the way to and from court appearances so I wouldnt have to think about my own crap for a little while. He texts me just to check in on me and in fact, yesterday, The International Day of the Woman, he texted me to let me know he was thinking of me and that I was HIS hero. He is an amazing man, plain and simple and has saved my life more times than I can count with his unwavering support and presence in my life. He supported me and again indulged me by agreeing to speak at Take Back the Night the same night I did. I am proud to nominate Detective Constable Frank Francella, a member of the Cobourg Police Service, father, hockey coach and the best male ally a woman who has been sexually assaulted could ask for. He is my hero and truly deserves this recognition.