In November 2014, a delegation by the Quebec Mounted Police Members’ Association and its foundation visited Danielle-Gabrielle Roy, the director general of the Marie Vincent Foundation, a non-profit group that, since 1975, has assisted victims, aged 12 and under, of sexual assault.
This foundation works very closely with police in cases of sexual assaults against children. Their facility is located in east-end Montreal, and the organization survives solely through donations and the tireless efforts of its staff, led by Roy, who is nothing short of a sparkplug and fantastic person who just never stops working for the cause.
After visiting the facility, members of the delegation sat down with Roy and listened to her story about how the foundation has been a pivotal part of helping the lives of so many young victims. The QMPMA foundation is proud to be associated with Roy and the foundation, and that is why we presented her with a $2,000 cheque, and we will continue to assist them through more donations in the future.
A little bit of history…
The Marie-Vincent Foundation was created in 1975, with the initial objective of meeting the desperate needs of the Centre Marie-Vincent, which had been founded 10 years earlier by Marguerite Séguin-Desnoyers. From the outset, the centre was dedicated to serving children aged 5 to 12 with severe socio-emotional problems, by offering schooling, social services and psychological assistance. The Marie-Vincent Foundation was successful in raising funds to enable the Centre Marie-Vincent to provide support to an ever growing number of children.
In 1994, following the creation of youth centres run by the Quebec government, the Foundation became a separate entity to the Centre Marie-Vincent. Now managing a sizable budget, the Marie-Vincent Foundation redefined its mission to encompass all children under 12 who had been victims of abuse, including sexual abuse.
In 2005, in the hopes of responding to a dearth of specialized, adapted services for children who had been sexually abused, the Marie-Vincent Foundation created the Centre d’expertise Marie-Vincent and the Marie-Vincent Interuniversity Chair on sexual abuse of children.
In 2012, after taking into consideration the extreme vulnerability of children ages 12 and under who had been victims of sexual abuse, as well as the necessity of ensuring that the Centre d’expertise Marie-Vincent remain a key resource in Quebec for victims and those close to them, the Marie-Vincent Foundation narrowed its mission to make sexual abuse its only cause.
SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN 12 AND UNDER
In Québec, one girl in five and one boy in ten report having been sexually abused before the age of 18.
In 2010-2011, 2,201 children aged 12 and under were the subject of a report to the Youth Protection in Quebec for sexual abuse or serious risk of sexual abuse.
Quebec police authorities report that 64% of victims of sexual offenses are under the age of 18 years.
– Among these young victims, 50% of them are girls and 14% are boys.
– In the majority of cases (85%), the aggressor is a person the child knows.
– Most situations of sexual abuse take place in private residences.
Services offered to children following the discovery of an experience of sexual abuse play a key role in the path that child’s life will take, as well as the lives of their loved ones.
Whether it is as a parent, a grandparent, a teacher or a neighbor, when we hear about a child who has been sexually abused, it is hard to feel anything but anger and disbelief. Moved by a sense of urgency and motivated by a strong desire to play a part in improving the lot of children who are victims of sexual abuse, I accepted the position of Executive Director of the Marie-Vincent Foundation.
Thanks to the confidence and generosity of its loyal partners and many donors, the Marie-Vincent Foundation is able to achieve great things, and has been doing so on behalf of the children of Québec’s for the past 37 years.
In 2005, with the creation of the Centre d’expertise Marie-Vincent and the Marie-Vincent Interuniversity Chair on the sexual abuse of children, the Foundation proved beyond a doubt that there was a very real need for the services they provided to sexually abused children aged 12 and under.
Specialized services for victims, research, training, and prevention: these are the four channels through which the Marie-Vincent Foundation carries out its mission and honours the generosity of the caring men and women who stand up against childhood sexual abuse.
Board members, staff, partners, donors and volunteers… All of you have one thing in common: you care deeply about the wellbeing of our children. Your dedication is an incredible source of inspiration for me.
A real childhood for all children is not a luxury. It is a right.
Together, we can say yes to childhood. Thank you!
Danielle Gabrielle Roy
Executive Director of the Marie-Vincent Foundation
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