‘I want the whole world to know’
A North Lancaster woman says she will never recover from the trauma she suffered when she and her twin sister were sexually assaulted by their uncle more than 40 years ago.
“You took from me, without my consent, my purity, my pride, my innocence and my youth,” Lydia Lambion said in her victim impact statement presented in St-Hyacinthe court in October of last year. She was confronting her uncle, Christian Lesage, who had pleaded guilty to assaulting Lydia and Sylvia Lambion between August 1, 1976 and January 1, 1978 in St-Hyacinthe and Terrebonne.
The 68-year-old was sentenced to 30 months in jail on two counts of indecent assault and one count of attempted rape.
Nothing can help heal the scars that remain from a lifetime of abuse, Lydia Lambion told The News.
“I have been denigrated since birth,” said the 56-year-old, who is preparing for another day in court, this time to confront her mother, who she says did nothing to stop the mistreatment, which began when the twins were 14.
Her 80-year-old mother, who also faces an assault charge, told Ms. Lambion that “my body belonged to my uncle.”
The sisters have been suicidal, suffered posttraumatic stress and eating disorders. Lydia Lambion will be seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist for the rest of her life. Because of her emotional stress, she has lost custody of her three children.
Since 1976, when she was first assaulted, six weeks after the death of her father, “I have lived in a prison, due to the rape, you, Mr. Christian Lesage, committed,” she said in her impact statement.
“Seeing you, Christian Lesage, raping my sister beside me, also traumatized me for life.”
The names of victims are usually not divulged by courts. However, the Lambion sisters wanted a publication ban lifted.
“I want the world to know. I want to help others who have suffered like we have,” says Ms. Lambion. Speaking out could encourage other victims to “get out of the dark corners” and denounce predators.
“I am an open book,” she says, however, she adds, “I am not doing well. It hurts inside. This is very painful.”
She recalls that initially, she was afraid to contact authorities. Her family told her to stay quiet or her uncle would go to jail. When in 1978 she told a judge that she had been raped, the judge took no action. In sentencing Mr. Lesage, Judge Stéphane Godri noted that the accused demonstrated no remorse.
He hoped his nieces would forgive him. But he later said they had exaggerated the consequences of his actions.
“His regrets seem to be connected to a certain fear of going to prison,” the judge wrote in his verdict. Justice Godri also considered the current social context where there is more support for victims who report sexual assaults, particularly those against children.
In her statement, Lydia Lambion said that after she had been assaulted for third time, December 26, 1977, she was instructed by her mother that “this had to stay in the family.”
Her uncle’s wife defended him. She was broken.
Her uncle said she was nothing in her family’s eyes. She would later marry the first man who came into her life, and would suffer 14 years of domestic violence.
She describes her “scars and consequences for 42 years.”
She continues to have flashbacks, nightmares, has paranoia and hallucinates, panic attacks.
She is nervous around men and authorities, has mood swings.
Ms. Lambion has made three suicide attempts. She no longer celebrates Christmas because it reminds her of that “day of hell” in 1977.
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