Me Marie-Maude R. Beauvais is project manager at Juripop.  Photo: Juripop

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Me Marie-Maude R. Beauvais is project manager at Juripop. Photo: Juripop

After more than a year of existence, the #MoiAussi Caravan will be in Quebec for a full day, on January 26. This initiative, led by the Juripop organization, allows victims of sexual violence to obtain free legal and psychosocial information.

La Capitale-Nationale will be the very last stop of the #MoiAussi Caravan, which will have ultimately offered its services to more than a hundred victims of sexual violence in 11 regions of Quebec since November 2019.

Pandemic requires, the information meetings offered in Quebec will however be done virtually. Interested parties must register in advance on the Juripop website, or by calling the organization.

Lawyer Marie-Maude R. Beauvais, project manager, recalls that one of the main assets of the #MoiAussi Caravan is its multidisciplinarity.

Indeed, victims of sexual violence have the opportunity to meet lawyers, police officers, crown prosecutors and psychosocial workers. “It’s really up to the person,” says Me R. Beauvais.

“The person can meet at one time, with several stakeholders at the same time, so they do not have to repeat their story several times”, continues Me Marie-Maude R. Beauvais, project manager at Juripop.

All the reasons to consult are good, she emphasizes. “There is no typical profile. Some people want to know how the complaints process works.

Others have received a formal notice from their attacker and do not know what to do with it. Some people are looking for information to make a claim for compensation from IVAC.

“There are people who will come more to obtain emotional support and then, that can lead to making referrals to other organizations to keep that contact with the person”, adds Me R. Beauvais.

The Rozon and Salvail effect

Over the past year, the #MoiAussi Caravan has had a few fewer meetings than expected. “There are still a lot of taboos around sexual violence”, notes Me R. Beauvais.

COVID-19 has also slowed down the Caravan’s activities in recent months. Then there were the highly publicized decisions in the cases of Gilbert Rozon and Éric Salvail, which may have discouraged some victims.

Me R. Beauvais however hopes that the opposite effect will occur. “I think it can also motivate people to come and talk about it, precisely so that things can change. “

Before the courts, “each case is different”, she recalls. In other words: two highly publicized acquittals are not representative of what happens on a daily basis in courthouses.

“These are important decisions, but they do not represent all decisions about sexual violence. There are several other decisions which are not as publicized and which will end in a conviction, ”explains Me Marie-Maude R. Beauvais.

Inform, but not advise

The mission of the #MeToo Caravan, however, is not to offer legal advice to victims, but rather to inform them as well as possible.

To do this, Juripop can count on two important partners: the network of Crime Victims Assistance Centers (CAVAC) and the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP).

DPCP spokesperson, Me Audrey Roy Cloutier, indicates by email that the prosecutors who participate in the #MoiAussi Caravan have the mandate to “explain the judicial process, to illustrate the close collaboration of the prosecutors with (…) CAVAC and the police, for example”.

“We are never there to push the person to file a complaint”, specifies Me R. Beauvais.