Letter to the Editor by Gabriel Riviere-Reid – Not Happy with Results for Victims of Inquiry – Cornwall Ontario – July 7, 2010

Mr. Bentley:

We have written numerous letters to your office in the last seven months, some as private letters, but mostly as letters composed by our committee.  They have gone unheeded and we continue to get back as a resource a Transition Services List that includes few agencies that even come close to dealing with childhood sexual abuse trauma.  The other agencies cited do not have therapists specialized and skilled in treating this type of trauma. A few agencies were even surprised they were on such a list.  Not to be disrespectful, but do you know how much of a joke this list for transition services is.  It is an insult to a person’s intelligence.  Survivors are not stupid; far from it.  They are quite capable of seeing a ‘con’ when it is happening.    GIVE US A BREAK!

It also has come to our recent attention, that different available funding through the Victims Services Unit was not made known to survivors, since the Public Inquiry was cut off in January, 2010.  Two members of our group only became aware of this funding around the beginning of May.  As a result they will only have benefit of this funding until July 15, after which no further funding will be made available.  One of these survivors had been without any resources whatsoever to continue therapy and struggled painfully for those 4 months in her daily life;  the other survivor had been paying for her therapy out of her own pocket putting a financial stress on her marriage (her partner is a pensioner and she is unable to work due to traumatic flashbacks).

Why was this new available funding not made public and why were the survivors not informed of this option? In fact, how many survivors made use of this new funding because they were aware of it?

Some survivors are eligible for Compensation from Criminal Injuries for 52 weeks of one hour therapy sessions, but what happens to those survivors when that funding ends before the trauma is dealt with; what happens to the survivors who aren’t eligible for Compensation because the abuse happened outside the province of Ontario?

Again, the government hides all the information in order to cut costs and to minimize spending of allotted budgets for programs.  No one at the higher levels seems to realize that these are real people that they are dealing with, not just numbers.  These are people who fell through the cracks as children, and “Guess what?’ they still are being ignored and swept under bureaucratic carpets.

We know that there have been recommendations implemented to help the children of the future, but what about the children of the past?  Those children of the past still need the chance to have the trauma treated and to live a productive and peaceful life.  They won’t go away.  Without proper treatment survivors will put further strain on an already overburdened correctional system, welfare system, health care system, addiction programs, shelters, Ontario Disability Support Program, Canada Pension Plan Disability program, Employment Assistance Program, funeral homes, etc., if the government continues to refuse funding for treatment of childhood trauma.  Do you know how much income, income tax and functionality down the road would be generated by survivors who get proper treatment through specialized therapy?

There are deep wounds that will never be healed by band-aids (current services available for survivors); however, with qualified psychotherapists of the survivor’s own choice (as recommended by Commissioner Normand Glaude), healing will happen.  It is critical that this be dealt with immediately.

It is strange that $50 million could be spent on an inquiry that resulted in recommendations that are completely being ignored.   You may think that it is okay to maintain the status quo, but we do not agree.

It is time that everyone knows the truth.

Enough Is Enough – Stop the Silence

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