The Voice of a Victim

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I have just posted the poignant story of a victim of sexual abuse which I pray will assist the hundreds of victims out there who believe they are alone with their pain and fear while simultaneously helping all of us as we grapple to comprehend the years of abuse and decades of silence.

Andre Lavoie’s 1998 haunting Victim Impact Statement allows us to enter the soul of the child who is sexually abused.  Through Andre we see the child whose youth and immaturity render him incapable of comprehending the tragic and lifelong consequences of his reluctant concession to the abuse perpetrated upon him by a man he admired and trusted.

And indeed, what child is vested with such wisdom? 

Fifteen years old!  According to the law of the land today –  that’s legal!!

Read Andre’s poignant statement.  Please please take the time to read it.

The child who is trapped, who has nowhere to turn, who hopes against hope that someone somewhere will see and come to his rescue.  The child filled with self loathing who feels so terribly alone.  The child who is silent.

The child who becomes a man, haunted by memories, tormented, trying desperately to drown the pain, struggling to stay afloat, paralyzed by despair.  The man who is silent. 

This is Andre’s Victim Impact Statement.  It was written when Robert Sabourin, the Roman Catholic teacher who raped his soul, pled guilty. 

That was eight short years ago. 

Andre Lavoie took the stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry last week.  He was an outstanding witness.  Not a trace of fear.  Not a glimmer of the guilt and shame which rightly belong to the molester but traditionally burden and cloak the victim.  Strong. Self-assured. Articulate. Eloquent. 

The scared little boy was nowhere to be seen.  I’m sure he’s not gone.  Not completely.  I don’t think he ever vanishes from the soul of the child whose innocence was so cruelly and selfishly violated.  But the child has given way to the man.  The man who comprehends what the child could not.

Thank you Andre, for allowing us to learn from your pain, and thank you for allowing us in.

***

I am still working on recapping Andre’s testimony.  I shall continue :).

Enough for now,

Sylvia,
(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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