Project Stand - Faces of Rape & Sexual Abuse Survivors

Yvonne Maes

Yvonne Maes, 64, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Former nun. Repeatedly sexually abused by a priest who was a director at a retreat center in Lesotho, Africa. Maes reported the incidents to the Catholic Church authority, but the case was covered up and her perpetrator was transferred back to England. Because of the treatment she received by the church, Maes resigned as a nun after 37 years in the Montreal-based Holy Names of Jesus and Mary order. She wrote her life story in a book entitled Cannibal's Wife: A Memoir, and now works as a social worker in Vancouver. She also serves as a tutor and administrator of the non-profit group Together Against Violence Network. Most Sundays, Maes takes a hike in the woods in Cypress Bowl Park to meditate, and says “the best revenge is being well”.