Child Abuse Prevention Month

13 10 2010

October is designated Child Abuse Prevention Month, marked in many communities with the annual purple ribbon campaign and events designed to educate and inform the public. Locally, the Community Child Abuse Council of Hamilton will host another in its series of professional development symposia later this month featuring internationally known trainer and speaker,  

Cordelia Anderson

and past Oprah guest, Cordelia Anderson.  Chair of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Exploitation, and board member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Anderson will address what she calls our “sexually toxic society” and its negative impact on the developing brain. She addresses “the porn culture” children are exposed to along with the increasing accessibility of inappropriate ideas and images via technology and media. Children’s development, Anderson says, is affected by all that is around them. Her focus at this year’s symposium will be the impact of technology, consumer culture, and increasingly sexual lures on children as well as the critical importance of prevention work. She will offer helpful strategies to professionals in order to support efforts to address these challenges. For information about the symposium (October 26 in Hamilton), From Dr. Seuss to Porn: The impact of pornography on the sexual development of children and youth, check the Community Child Abuse Council of Canada’s web site:

Cordelia Anderson will also speak at a free presentation for parents and caregivers on October 25th. The evening presentation will provide important information for those trying to help boys and girls navigate in a sexually toxic environment. Pre-registration is required. Check the Council’s web site (above) or call (905) 523-1020, ext. 10.

Elsewhere in Ontario there will be community events including a walk for justice in Belleville, an official proclamation in Elliot Lake, a duck race in Goderich, and a poster campaign in Cornwall. The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies will feature a public education campaign featuring the purple ribbon (member Children’s Aid Societies in communities across the province will participate).

The United Nations proclaimed 2000-2010 The International Decade for the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. In short, a ten-year period to highlight the violence committed against our most vulnerable citizens and the need to eradicate that violence. Given the number of children accessing treatment here in our community following the trauma of abuse, it is clear that a decade did not suffice. Arguably, one month set aside each year to focus on prevention won’t do the trick either. But if each of us tries to connect with the issue in some way during this month, it will help. Learn more, talk about the ugly truth of child abuse, and be vigilant. It is essential that we listen when a child discloses maltreatment. It is the law that we report suspected abuse of a child.



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