Interviews & Speeches

Deciding to Go Public About Sex Abuse

Ramsay Breakfast Remarks, University Club, Toronto
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thank you, Bob.

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to a talk on what Bob has said might be number one on his list of topics to avoid for a Ramsay breakfast. Thank you all specially for being here.

Bob and I have known each for almost fifty years; we both went to Trinity College School, I caught sight of him again as I toiled at the rock face of Canadian cinema, “A Screen Of Our Own” I call it, and we are each married to physicians and former medical partners, Dr. Jean Marmoreo and the Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett.

The genesis of this morning’s event in fact happened at Carolyn and Jean’s 40th Med School Reunion last summer when Bob and I each escaped from the clinical after-dinner conversation to the lobby and looked up from our Blackberries at the same time.

When Bob asked what I had been up to, I heard myself say, “Oh, not much, I’ve been a complainant in a child sex abuse case in UK and got a conviction against my coach/teacher but he jumped in front of a train two days before sentencing.” You’ll be pleased to hear I had Bob’s full attention.

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Peter O’Brian: Silent No More

The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Agenda with Steve Paikin is TVO’s flagship current affairs program offering in-depth analysis and intelligent debate on issues of concern in the rapidly changing world around us.
About the video:
Award-winning filmmaker, former head of the Canadian Film Centre and chair of the board of TVO, Peter O’Brian opens up to Steve Paikin about sexual abuse he suffered as a boy, at the hands of a school teacher in England.


Address to the Children’s Treatment Centre: “Silent No More”

Bike-a-thon Breakfast, Cornwall
April 20, 2016

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to a talk about a subject which at all other breakfast meetings in the world might be the number one subject to avoid at all costs. But in this enlightened community, and among the staff, the board, the volunteers and supporters of the Children’s Treatment Centre in Cornwall, where child sex abuse is a subject of deep and central concern, I feel warmly welcome and I appreciate the opportunity to tell my story and share some views. Thank you.

On February 7th last year the Globe And Mail published an article I had written about my own story. It was called “The Boy Left Behind in the Dark”. It was about deciding to speak out as a sex-abuse survivor after fifty-three years of silence on my part, a momentous decision for me, arrived at with the help of my wife, with whom I had shared the secret when we were married, and an extraordinary pair of British police detectives named Joe and Andy. My wife, by the way, is here with me this morning, and she is the Hon Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

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