CORNWALL, Ontario – Every year, supporters of the Children’s Treatment Centre gather for a fundraising breakfast and hear the story of a special guest speaker. This year’s special guest speaker was journalist Sue Montgomery. Montgomery’s message to the assembled crowd was that as a victim of abuse herself, the most important thing she was ever told was “this should have never have happened to you.”
Montgomery is a journalist who has worked at the Toronto Star, Canadian Press and the Montreal Gazette.
While working for the Gazette, she uncovered the story of sexual abuse at a private Catholic boys school in Montreal, Brothers of the Holy Cross.
Montgomery explained that it was her own experiences with abuse that made her want to become a journalist and give a voice to those who did not have one.
From the ages of three to nine years old she was sexually abused by her grandfather.
Montgomery explained how she began to tell her story to a variety of people in her life, her mother, her family, the police, psychiatrists, but it was not until she was 31 when she told her future husband about the abuse she experienced that someone told her “that should have never happened to you.”
“It was like a light went on in my head,” she said. “You’re right, I told him, that should never have happened to me.”
She told the room that she wished there were centres like the Children’s Treatment Centre in every community and if there was one around when she was younger, she might have gotten the help she needed sooner.
“The Children’s Treatment Centre is a place where children will be believed, families will be helped and your community will be better off for all of you,” she said.
The Children’s Treatment Centre Walk and Breakfast is the centre’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The Treatment Centre entirely relies fundraising as it receives no government assistance.