Dr. Rayleen De Luca, C.M., O.M.
Dr. Rayleen De Luca has followed in Nellie McClung’s footsteps, pursuing social justice, the arts, human rights and advancing democracy through her professional, educational, research and community endeavors.
At the University of Manitoba, Department of Psychology, De Luca was the first woman director of clinical training. Her work with children in the area of child abuse and family violence has been described as “ground breaking”. Her publications have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, German and Italian.
She has presented workshops on women’s issues internationally, including at the Universidad Catolica, Andres Bello, Caracas, Venezuela, the Universidade Catolica Dom Bosco, in Campo Grande, Brazil and Universidade Aberta Do Brasil, in Barretos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Through her work, hundreds of women and girls who had been sexually abused have received free intervention and access to psychological treatment. Her studies have demonstrated that those who have received treatment have not experienced the negative long-term effects often associated with abuse.
Her essence was captured by a child’s comment at the end of her therapy: “Dr. De Luca is the one that came to my rescue and became a true friend.” A life member of the Catholic Women’s League, she has dedicated hundreds of hours to developing resolutions focusing on women’s issues, that are annually presented to the federal government. For example, important issues as the trafficking of women and children.
She has made presentations to the Native Women’s Transition Centre, Anishinaabe Respect; Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre; and Valley River First Nations. She served as president of Folklorama and as Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of St. Paul’s College.
She was appointed by the Canadian Conference of Bishops to serve on a National Ad Hoc Committee on the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable people.
De Luca has received a number of awards for her leadership and commitment, including the Sons of Italy CIPA Professional Award and the Order of Manitoba.
Dr. De Luca was inducted into the Order of Canada.