Christianne's son Damian died fighting for ISIS in Syria. Here she speaks movingly about her bewilderment at his decision to go and fight, the hours she spent search-ing for him and her agony at learning of his death.
Following the death of her son Damian in Syria, Christianne Boudreau pledged to speak out about the recruitment and radicalization of young people internationally. Christianne wished to highlight the severity of the problem and to promote solutions to the influence well-organized recruiters can have on young people.
She made contact with a mother in France who had suffered the same trauma and met with Daniel Koehler, an expert who networks with community resources and gives practical support to families to assist with de-radicalization. After that meeting in the summer of 2014, Christianne went on to form Hayat Canada Family Support as well as an international organization, Mothers for Life and works closely with other mothers and their sister organizations around the world. Today, she continues to work with families to help prevent, intervene and provide support.
“Why would you tell me you were going to Egypt to study, when you were going to Syria to fight?”
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Christianne elaborates on Damian’s childhood, his conversion to Islam and the events that surrounded his eventual radicalisation.
Christianne offers her advice to other parents concerned about radicalisation and, with the benefit of hindsight, identifies the potential warning signs that were missed.
Christianne reveals the devastating impact that Damian’s decisions have had on her and her family, and the questions that remain unanswered following his death.
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