Chronology of events in Kimberly Nixon vs Vancouver Rape Relief Society

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Chronology of events in

Kimberly Nixon vs Vancouver Rape Relief Society
November 5, 1990

Kimberly Nixon had sexual reassignment surgery. Kimberly Nixon was 33 years old at the time of the surgery. Until that time, Ms Nixon had been brought up through a boyhood and lived as a man achieving success as an airline pilot.

May 1994

Kimberly Nixon completed eight months of weekly one-to-one counselling with a counsellor at Battered Women’s Support Services. Following one-to-one counselling, Ms Nixon used the drop-in support group at Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) until May or June of 1995.

May or June 1995

Kimberly Nixon was told by BWSS workers that it was necessary for her own healing that she take a year off before applying for the Battered Women’s Support Services training program.

August 29, 1995

Kimberly Nixon arrived at a training group conducted by Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter. She was rejected from the training program because she did not share the same life experiences as women born and raised as girls and into womenhood.

August 30, 1995

Kimberly Nixon made a formal Human Rights Complaint.

When Vancouver Rape Relief collective women were informed of the complaint the women were sorry to have offended Kimberly Nixon and quickly tried to make amends. The Rape Relief collective women offered a formal written apology, and suggested that Kimberly could support the rape crisis line and shelter work by joining a fundraising committee. The collective also offered to apologize in-person to Kimberly as well as offering $500 in acknowledgement of Kimberly's hurt feelings. The Rape Relief women also requested mediation. Kimberly Nixon rejected these offers.
September/October, 1995

Kimberly Nixon returned to Battered Women’s Support services for counselling which concluded March 1996.

Fall 1996

Kimberly Nixon commenced the training program for volunteers at Battered Women’s Support Services. She left BWSS over a dispute regarding the role of transgendered women in the organization.


The Vancouver Rape Relief Collective initiated consultations with feminists across the country in the process of deciding what course of action to follow. The collective women searched for information and analysis to inform the decisions they took in defense of their actions.

December 11, 2000 - February 23, 2001

The case was heard by the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

January 18 2002

The BC Human Right Tribunal released its decision that Vancouver Rape Relief acted on good faith and had been respectful in their treatment of Kimberly Nixon. However, the tribunal ruled that Vancouver Rape Relief had not proved that life experience as a girl and woman was a necessary pre-requisite to be a peer counselor to raped and battered women and ordered the payment of $7,500 to Kimberly Nixon for hurt feelings.

August 2003

The BC Supreme Court conducted a judicial review of the BC Human Rights Tribunal decision.

December 19, 2003

The Supreme Court set aside the decision of the Human Rights Tribunal, finding that the Tribunal had made an error: Vancouver Rape Relief had not discriminated against Kimberly Nixon and the group does have the right to freedom of association to organize as women only.

The court further declined to send the matter back to the Tribunal for a rehearing.
April, 2005

Nixon appealed to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

December 7, 2005

The B.C. Court of Appeal held unanimously that Vancouver Rape Relief has the right to prefer to train women who have never been treated as anything but female.

The Chief Justice said: "The respondent Society was entitled to give preference to women who are not post-operative transexuals, because there is a rational connection between the preference and the respondent's work or purpose."
February 1, 2007
The supreme Court of Canada dismissed Kimberly Nixon's request to appeal the B.C. Court of Appeals decision. The Supreme Court further awarded Vancouver Rape Relief with "costs". Which as of June 2009, Kimberly Nixon has not paid back.

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