October Marks Child Abuse Prevention Month

30 09 2012

Once again this year, October will see efforts across Ontario to raise awareness about child abuse and to remind us that this is a preventable crime. The maltreatment of children, whether by physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, or subjecting children to the trauma of witnessing violence…whatever the form, child abuse is unacceptable. It’s a sad fact that this message requires repeating, but it does. The incidence of child abuse remains disturbingly high, and new threats are adding to the problem at alarming rates (online predators, the sexualization of childhood, child porn, involvement of minors in the sex trade). Headlines over this past year have once again exposed the vulnerability of children to adult criminal behaviour, and reminded us that many of these children cannot and do not speak up. Those who do stand a shockingly low chance of getting the specialized help they need. Some will never get help.

Statistics show that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually victimized before reaching age 18. Think about that the next time you drive by a school yard or see a group of children playing in a park.

We can change the statistics. We can do better for children who need our help. Add your voice to the fight against child abuse. Listen to children, and act when they reveal that they have been maltreated – it’s the law. Learn more about this community’s response to child abuse, lend your support, and encourage others to do the same. Wear a purple ribbon to heighten awareness about child abuse. Help eliminate the stigma attached to child abuse by having open conversations about this important issue. Children are counting on us to do that, not just in October but each and every day.

For more information, visit www.childabusecouncil.on.ca

 

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