AN APPEAL from the TOPFREE EQUAL RIGHTS
On August 24th 1998, a woman was arrested
in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada for swimming topfree.
Evangeline Godron, 64, was literally carried out of the
Wascana pool by police and was charged with two counts of
assault and one of mischief. She was then jailed for two
days as a threat to society.
Godron pointed out that topfree men were
not required to leave the pool. She reported a Regina City
Police officer as replying that Godron would have to leave
because she was a woman. Some adults took children into
change rooms to avoid the sight of Godron's
The assault charges resulted from her
refusal to leave the pool willingly. But they do not apply
in this case, said a Regina lawyer, because Godron's passive
resistance was not assault. The mischief charge, he noted,
resulted because she allegedly interfered with other users'
enjoyment of the pool. But only the pool staff and the
Regina City Police interfered with people's use of the
There is no law against topfree swimming
in this pool. Godron was charged under the Criminal Code of
Canada despite the fact that a month earlier she and her
colleague Kathleen Rice were acquitted of a charge of
"indecent exhibition" under the Criminal Code for being
topfree in a Regina park. It should also be noted that
Godron is part Cree and part African.
Evangeline Godron has no money for a
lawyer. Legal Aid in Saskatchewan is not an option. At a
trial in June she faces conviction for exercising her rights
and being poor. An acquittal, however, would send a strong
message for women's rights and body acceptance all over
The Topfree Equal Rights Association
appeals for funds to hire a lawyer for Evangeline Godron.
Please send a cheque or draft in any currency made
out to T.E.R.A. to:
PO Box 81128 FGPO
Ancaster ON L9G 4X1
Those in Canada may make a deposit at any
Toronto-Dominion Bank, to the credit of T.E.R.A. at branch
no. 2624, account no. 636.
Click here to
learn about other ways you can help.
Thank you for your help!
Equal Rights Association
(T.E.R.A.), founded in June 1997
and based in Ontario, has assisted women across Canada and
in the United States who face legal difficulties over being
topfree in public.