On May 16, partners, donors, government representatives and Marie-Vincent team members were on hand… for the press conference announcing the official opening of the 2nd Marie-Vincent CYAC located in Châteauguay, in the Montérégie region. Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette and our spokesperson Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin were among our special guests. It marked the beginning of another important chapter in Marie-Vincent’s history, as we focus on better service accessibility to reach our goal of helping more young victims of sexual violence in the area. Until just recently, they made up to 30% of those on our waiting list.
The new Montérégie centre is the culmination of collective and collaborative efforts, a real challenge met head on thanks to the support of an engaged community and our donors’ amazing generosity. Members of the Steering Committee, formed when we launched the project, worked closely together to achieve the necessary complementarity with various key community actors; their involvement was essential and has been instrumental in the successful opening of this 2nd centre. This committee brings together representatives from the Valleyfied DPCP (Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales), the Montérégie CAVAC (Crime Victims Assistance Centre), the Montérégie DYP (Director of Youth Protection), the CISSS de la Montérégie-Est et de la Montérégie-Ouest, the Service de police de la Ville de Châteauguay, the Sûreté du Québec–MRC de la Montérégie, the Service de police de la Ville de Mercier and the DPSMD (Direction des programmes de santé mentale et dépendances) Montérégie-Est.
We also want to acknowledge the collaboration and support, from day one, of our generous donors, namely Mouvement Desjardins – Fonds du Grand Mouvement, Promutuel – Vallée du St-Laurent, Jeune Oasis, Chamandy Foundation, Pathy Family Foundation as well as two levels of government.
Impact of opening our 2nd centre in the Montérégie
The impact and benefits of opening our centre in Châteauguay are both conclusive and tangible. The centre’s full integration in the Montérégie community increases our ability to reach victims and their families. In 2022-2023, more than one hundred people will benefit from our services thanks to shorter waiting times between their request for services and the start of therapeutic care.
Other tangible benefits are the direct result of our opening a new centre in the Montérégie region:
- Additional professional resources toward psychosocial intervention and psychotherapy;
- Increased opportunities for training and prevention with our Montérégie partners;
- New rooms offering a conducive environment for police investigations in the region, making things easier for victims and their families;
- Increased availability for medical examinations and additional services provided to victims in the region;
- Easier intervention when cases involve multiple and complex issues.
Why in the Montérégie?
We thought long and hard before choosing the Montérégie area. We factored in the extent of the population’s needs, the degree of engagement of our financial and clinical partners as well as the needs of young victims in the region. Our main goal was to provide easier access to our services. The Montérégie region has a high number of sexual abuse reports.
We also chose the Montérégie because it has an important Centre jeunesse service location, three police forces covering Châteauguay’s surrounding area and highly-engaged partners that are already well established in the community. This will undoubtedly lead to a better, closer collaboration with our partners.
Looking to the future
Within 5 years of continuous services, our estimation is that our professionals will support some 1,000 children and adolescents. Opening a CYAC in Montérégie will provide better access to therapy for young people and their families in the Montérégie region as well as allow, across the area, for a more suitable environment to conduct interviews for police investigations and medical examinations. And this will be accomplished in keeping with our mission to offer all these services under the same roof in Châteauguay so as to appropriately answer the needs of young victims and their families.
This major project would not have been possible without the invaluable contribution of the entire Marie-Vincent team. Their expertise, their experience and their tremendous generosity have helped develop an environment that is conducive to the support of young people and parents.
**Only available in French