Not Being Heard

by Anne Kelly
(British Columbia, Canada)

I am a woman of 58 who grew up on northern Canadian military bases. I was a child of 8 when I came to Canada with my parents and two sisters. At the age of 11, I was molested by the DND (Department of National Defence) employed principal of the school where I attended for two years. This military compound had no media or television, and every house was furnished like the others.

My younger sister and I were abused my two other military men, which began when we arrived in Canada; I was 8 and Mary was 7. In the military, you often meet people from other bases. It was like a nightmare come true in the 50's and 60's to encounter such men as had abused us before. Although this was reported at the time in the 60's; it took me until the 90's to look at how this had affected my life: in a way that I will never recover.

In 1998, two men from the DND military police came to my home in Duncan, British Columbia. They interviewed me and they left. I never heard from them. Ten days later, I called their office in Edmonton. They informed me that the "statute of limitations" had run out in one case. In the 2nd case, I was asked whether or not "do you really want to charge a 92-year-old?" The 92-year-old was the principal of the Protestant DND School in Parent, Quebec. This man tormented me from the age of 11 - 13 everyday for two years. His wife, Helen, was my teacher. It is the responsibility of the DND to provide schools whereby the principal is not a child molester! In the 3rd case, I was told that the RCMP in (location not disclosed)...may be interested.

Today, when I ask for a copy of the review and the decision, I am told that the papers are in the vault and I will have to go through some procedure to look at them. How many others were molested by these three men?

Thank you for this forum which helps me to speak, at least and at last, about my experience as an immigrant child disguised by white skin and blue eyes. Thank you for this opportunity to be heard.

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Comments for Not Being Heard

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Jan 03, 2008
Statute of limitations in Canada...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Anne, I don't know all the particulars of your case, and I am not an attorney, but as far as I know, there is no statute of limitations (SL) on child sexual abuse in Canada, even if the sexual abuse took place on a military base, even if the abuse took place in the 50's and 60's. Canada has in the recent past extradited clergy for physically and sexually abusing boys in the 1950's, so I don't understand why you were told that the SL had run out on one of the three cases.

Trying to get charges laid for historical child abuse is always difficult. Time is the enemy, as there is generally a severe lack of evidence. There are few, if any, witnesses; and even when there are witnesses, memories often prove unreliable. Worse, is that the abuse survivor becomes re-victimized when the system vehemently protects the rights of the accused instead of ensuring victims get justice.

The 92-year-old should have spent every day of his wretched life in prison for what he did to you, and what he probably did to other children too. And the other so-called men who abused you should have to share a cell with the offender who was allowed to misuse his authority as principal of your school. The military needs to answer for failing to protect you. And they need to answer for their cavalier response to your sexual abuse complaints.

As for never recovering...Anne, as long as you believe that you will never recover, you allow your abusers to continue to control you. As long as you believe you are never going to heal and recover, you will continue to be victimized by these perverted molesters. As long as you keep telling yourself that there is no healing from the sexual abuse, you give your power away to the cretins who took such terrible advantage of you. Yes, they had power over you when you were a child; they no longer have that power over you, Anne, not unless you let them have that power. Don't allow those degenerates for human beings take over one more second of your life. I urge you to enter into some form of counselling to help you deal with the emotional trauma of being sexually abused. It would be the first step in taking back your power.

And Anne, I am honoured to be able to provide a forum for you to be heard. I sincerely wish you all the best.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jan 03, 2008
Please don't give up Anne
by: LLS Buffalo

Hi Anne,
Please don't give up and say you will never recover. I am desperately trying to. I keep thinking I never will and it's a waste of time to try. But it really hurts to hear you say you doubt if recovery will ever be possible. Isn't that weird? I don't even know what fully happened to you but for some reason we are connected and I care. Im 40 now. It's been so long and it hurts like yesterday. I sometimes have bad thoughts about what I wish I could do to the people who hurt me. I wasn't surprised that what happened to you was in the military. I have no use for them much anymore.

Jan 03, 2008
Not being heard is in trying to speak a different language
by: Anne

From Darlene Barriere: Anne, I moved your comments to this page, as The Lighter Side is reserved for pages and comments related to de-stressing, and...well, the lighter side.

"Child abuse effects can be and are often life-long."

"Child abuse victims have lived a childhood of minimizing the abuse they suffered. Most didn't tell; and if they did tell, they were not believed or were told that it really wasn't all that bad. Any attempt to assess value to abuse suffered has the effect on the victim of minimizing what they endured."

It takes many years to look within and to learn to recognize the signs of abuse. It is almost impossible to come forth with challenges of abuse against power. Physicians, WCB, DND and other places of power do not consider myself to be a victim. Personally, I consider myself to be a victor because I have survived being a victim. Education has opened my eyes to our social history and I know that I am not alone. I feel empathy for those individuals who are the victims today because they are afraid to come forward, afraid they will be rejected and subsequently victimized for speaking the truth.

Anne (of Reading Poetry on The Lighter Side page) and LLI, what I am speaking about when I say I am not being heard is this.

Women and children are seldom listened to even today. In the medical field it is especially so. Women speak out and they are referred to as being hysterical. Writing Anne as you say is the best way to heal: I write and grow beautiful fruit and count my blessings daily. I give to others and that in itself is healing.

LLI, continue in your healing process as it will grow every day and especially when we reach out to others. Writing helps in the self-reflective process of learning about ourselves and others.

Anne K

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