Two sisters allege they were raped as students at College Bourget
Published Friday, October 21, 2011 8:12PM EDT
MONTREAL - Two sisters broke a painful silence Friday that they say they have been keeping since the 1960s, when they allege they were both sexually abused while studying at College Bourget de Rigaud.
Margot Bussière alleges she and her hospitalized older sister were raped when they were 8 and 9 years old, respectively, by the former director of the college and the parish priest.
"It had a terrible impact on both our lives because when you abuse a child at 8 or 9, you make a victim out of that child," Bussière says.
She met the media Friday in an effort not only to have the pain felt by her and her sister recognized, but also to reach out to other students who attended that school.
"Our goal today is to make sure that victims know that something happened here, that they're not alone," said Carlo Tarini of the Quebec Victims' Rights Association. "And that they join up together to obtain a measure of justice."
Bussière says she has little doubt there are more people out there just like her.
"I am sure there are a lot of other victims," she said. "Of that I am very sure."
Just two weeks ago in Montreal, in a precedent-setting case, dozens of victims of sexual abuse were paid upward of $18 million as an acknowledgement and apology by the Holy Cross Congregation for abuse by priests.
The Clercs de St. Viateur – the order that runs College Bourget – say they were aware of some police involvement, but had not heard of any other complaints against the priests in question, who are now deceased.
"We are cooperating in every way possible," says the school's current director Jean-Marc St-Jacques. "But these are things that happened long ago."
The school says the Sureté du Québec did approach them, asking questions and looking for photos of these two priests. But the SQ wouldn't give CTV any information on whether an investigation continues today.
Margot Bussière's sister lives at the Douglas Hospital - she's tried to take her life three times.
Bussière wants justice- and says she'll fight to get it.
"A man abuses you when you're eight years old and he's supposed to represent God and authority," she said. "And then you're the victim and he's being protected."
With the priests passed on Bussière is going after the Clercs de St. Viateur, saying the only way to stop being a victim is to speak out.