From her window, Catherine Galliford can see a pack of children on rollerblades along a path by a nearby river.
“I wish I could be out there too,” she says. “But I can’t leave the house.”
Six months after her settlement with the RCMP and six days after her only child was sentenced to life in prison for murder, former RCMP officer Catherine Galliford is in a prison of her own at an undisclosed location, hemmed in by PTSD, agoraphobia and chemical dependency as she tries to put her life back together.
Galliford, whose sexual harassment lawsuit against the RCMP thrust her into the national spotlight, now lives in an undisclosed location in the B.C. Interior. She has left her home only a handful of times in the past nine months — she cannot make it past the front gate. “I start hyperventilating, my throat closes up, I can’t breathe,” she says.
It’s early afternoon. Galliford sips warm Canadian from a can, chain-smokes Export As. She jumps eagerly every time the phone rings — and it rings often.
The phone is her lifeline. Women from across the country, some involved in a separate class action lawsuit against the RCMP, and other first responders in work environments rife with sexual harassment, reach out to her for peer support. But the most important call each day is from her son.