This week Albert LeBlanc, a former priest from the catholic Diocese of Yarmouth pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 6 young boys (now grown men) in the 1970's and 1980's. LeBlanc is facing 44 more charges which have been adjourned until August.
The Arch-Bishop of Halifax, who administers the Yarmouth Diocese issued a statement condemning LeBlanc's acts.
The general consensus is that it was appropriate that LeBlanc pleaded guilty because he is taking responsibility for his actions and it saves the victims from having to testify about some very painful and traumatic memories.
However I was contacted by one of LeBlanc's victims who viewed it a different way. He was disappointed that he would not be able to face LeBlanc in court. He feels cheated.
The conversation does go to show that survivors of childhood abuse follow different paths to recovery.
Some are simply looking for help with counselling to help them heal. That's why we prepared our Maritime Directory of Services for Survivors of Sexual Abuse.
Some survivors want to punish their abuser and so they pursue criminal charges.
Others are looking for compensation for the harm they have suffered and to get help paying for the treatment they need to recover, so they file a sexual abuse compensation claim.
Different survivors are looking for different things. Some are just struggling to figure out what their options are.
Abuse survivor Del Boudreau came forward this week to speak publicly about the sexual abuse he says he suffered at the hands of deceased priest Alphonse LeBlanc. Boudreau said by sharing his story he hoped it would give other abuse survivors the courage to come forward.
Unfortunately statistics show that the vast majority of sexual abuse victims suffer in silence and never tell anyone what happened to them.
That's why I wrote Breaking the Silence: The Survivor's Guide to Sexual Abuse Claims. I wanted to help educate the public, and abuse survivors, about the legal issues involved in childhood sexual abuse.
The book is written to explain the differences between criminal charges and civil suits and what survivors can do to protect their rights.
By reading the book, abuse survivors can get all the information they need about their legal options confidentially, in the privacy of their home.
The book is $16.95 on Amazon.com (all sale proceeds are donated to charity) but if you would like a free copy of the book, you can call toll free in Atlantic Canada 1-877-423-2050 or contact me through my website.