Learning to live
Four years of judicial proceedings… It’s a long time! Yes, but putting an “end” to 25 years of fear, shame, disgust, mistrust, feelings of injustice and negative repercussions of all kinds in my life, is worth the effort! It has been very hard, I won’t deny it, but I’m satisfied at having done it! I’m proud that I held on till the end. Luckily, I wasn’t alone. Counsellors from the CALACS and the CAVAC were there with me to accompany me, and the investigator in charge of my file was very nice and respectful.
When I started these proceedings, four years ago, I knew it would be long and difficult. It has been even longer and more difficult than what I had expected! Not encouraging, would you say? I would answer: let’s look at the positive side of things! And positive things did happen, indeed, from the moment I walked out of the Courthouse, feeling that I had recovered my freedom, my confidence, my life!
Today, I feel free. My heart is lighter. I really feel that I have turned an important page of my life, and I am deeply relieved of it. I cannot forget, of course. But I learn to live, day after day, with what I experienced during childhood. And when, for the glimpse of a moment, I remember that right now my aggressor is behind bars, and that he was declared guilty in the eyes of society, my relief is even greater!
Ok, he didn’t receive the sentence that I would have given him (prison for life!), but I trust God that He’ll take care of judging him, for eternity.
Today, I realise that the judicial proceedings I instituted against my aggressor have made me a stronger woman, who can walk with her head held up high and look forward… to the future. That’s it!
So, four years, to enable me to blossom for the rest of my life, I say: YES! I encourage each woman victim of sexual assault to denounce and file charges against her aggressor. Don’t be a victim anymore and get your dignity back, your confidence, your life!
To live, Finally ~ A person’s perception of themselves can be severely impacted by childhood trauma and abuse. Read how one survivor learned the key to her healing.
One Victim’s Story ~ A video interview with Sarah, who uses her own voice to let other victims of crime know that though each victim is unique, no victim is truly alone.
A Matter of Trust ~ Douglas Macklem was a victim of personal fraud who used both the criminal and civil courts to right the wrongs committed against him. He prepared a Victim Impact Statement for the courts.
Lighting a Candle ~ Carolyn Swinson’s son Rob was killed by an impaired driver. Read her story, and how volunteering for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada helped in the healing process.
In the Wilderness ~ A.M.’s story points to the need for more services for male victims of child sexual abuse. Through poetry and written testimony, A.M. describes how he had to rebuild his life and sense of self after being victimized as a young child.
My Angel, My Hero ~ Tracey Lynn Jones, a victim of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of her father, shares how the understanding and support of a police officer helped her realize that there is hope.
The Prey: An Account of Denunciation ~ Martine Ayotte shares how she finally decided to speak out against her aggressor. She expresses gratitude to Centre d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels (CAVAC) advocates who helped her manage the stress of the court proceedings.
The Journey Back ~ Raymond shares his journey of recovery after suffering childhood abuse, hoping it will serve as a reminder that every life is precious and worth saving.
Victim Offender Mediation Program ~ Through the Victim Offender Mediation Program, Ellen met the offender who sexually assaulted her. Read about how her powerful encounter.
Pathways ~ As a young victim of sexual assault, a woman speaks about her lost childhood and the lasting impact. Read about how she makes quilts for those protecting her own child.
Helping hand ~ A family’s life was shaken when they became the victims of a home invasion. Read about how Victim Service helped them move forward.
Learn more about Victims and Survivors of Crime Week
Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on Christmas
Victims of Crime Research Digest No. 9
Government of Canada Launches Victims and Survivors of Crime Week
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