The Saint-Bernard College in Drummondville is one of the teaching places founded by the Brothers of Charity.
The Superior Court of Montreal has authorized a class action against the Brothers of Charity for sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated over three quarters of a century.
The hearing, which took place on December 12, gave rise to a positive response from Judge Pierre Nollet on January 24.
The heir of the original plaintiff, identified by the initials A.B., will act as representative of all victims of sexual assault committed in Quebec by a member or employee of the congregation of the Brothers of Charity since 1 January 1, 1940.
The Brothers of Charity have been very involved in primary and secondary education in Quebec over the past century. The organization has founded several schools in Quebec, including Mont-Saint-Antoine, in Montreal, and Collège Saint-Bernard, in Drummondville.
A dozen ;alleged aggressors are targeted by the action.
More than a dozen victims have already registered for class action, said the firm Arsenault Dufresne Wee Avocats, which is leading the case.
According to Me Justin Wee, however, the victims could number in the hundreds.
“In the case of a single institution like Mont-Saint-Antoine, a reform school – and we know from experience that when the student population was vulnerable, the abuses were worse –, it is estimated at the moment that hundreds of victims will come forward.
— Mr. Justin Wee
According to Mr. Wee, reporting is an important step for victims, who in addition to allowing them to begin a healing process, sends a message to past and future abusers.
< p>“Proof that society has changed, the victims are no longer ashamed to speak out and that's good,” he says. From now on, the victims prefer to speak and denounce. It sends a clear message that no crime will go unpunished. »
— Me Justin Wee
All victims can register for this class action free of charge and in complete confidentiality by contacting the law firm by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.