Child Abuse Prevention Month

1 10 2014

October once again marks Child Abuse Prevention month here in Ontario, and sadly not much has changed since last year at this time. The pending transformation of children’s mental health by the provincial government promises to bring improvements, and we wait and watch for those with significant hopes.

In the meantime, the United Nations has released two new reports – Hidden In Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children (with global figures and data from 190 countries), and Ending Violence Against Children: Six strategies for action (with case studies from around the globe). Both are part of UNICEF’s #ENDviolence against children initiative.

You can find copies of both reports here: http://www.unicef.org/protection/

endviolenceThis month, as you consider the state of the world’s children, please remember that right here at home 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually victimized before their 18th birthday. We absolutely must change that. Let your elected representatives at all levels of government know that you consider this to be a vital issue. Speak up for additional resources to be invested in child abuse prevention and treatment, and encourage others to do the same.

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Talking about children…

17 04 2014

ngugi_wa_thiongo“Talking about the survival of children is not an act of charity. Children are the future of any society. If you want to know the future of any society look at the eyes of the children. If you want to maim the future of any society, you simply maim the children. Thus the struggle for the survival of our children is the struggle for the survival of our future. The quantity and quality of that survival is the measurement of the development of our society.”

Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o





October is Child Abuse Prevention Month

12 10 2013

Lots going on this month to remind us that child abuse needs our ongoing attention, as well as providing us with opportunities to help out and support the cause…

VOTE

Check out the AVIVA Community Fund competition where $1,000,000 is up for grabs and help to support the Community Child Abuse Council of Canada by voting (daily) for the Child Abuse Prevention and Parent Support Program. Just register, then sign in daily and vote: http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf17152

CHECK OUT THE MUSIC

BTown Sound in Burlington is hosting another of its popular acoustic nights on October 18th – free admission, proceeds from the cash bar, live and silent auctions to the Community Child Abuse Council of Canada. Up for auction: autographed ukelele from hot indie band Walk Off The Earth! Details on their web site: www.btownsound.ca

USE YOUR VOICE

Have a conversation about child abuse – we can’t stop it if we aren’t talking about it.

AND MORE…

Please take a moment to see what else is happening, get informed, make a donation, and find out about other ways you can help: www.childabusecouncil.on.ca

(aviary.com)

(aviary.com)





Theo, Victor, and a walk to Ottawa

12 05 2013

As we honour mothers today, one mother’s son is preparing for a journey that would make any parent proud.

On May 14, former NHL star Theo Fleury will begin a walk that will take him from Toronto to Ottawa. He plans to arrive in the capital on May 23rd, and will be heading to Parliament.

Why?

victor-the-frogTheo Fleury is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Actually, he’s a Victor over childhood sexual abuse. And that’s why his walk to Ottawa is being billed as The Victor Walk. You can check out his web site to learn more about this brave undertaking, and why it’s called the “Victor” walk (you’ll also meet Victor, a cool symbol for this project with a great story behind it): www.victorwalk.com

Canadians are encouraged to line his route, show their support, and lend their voices to his journey (or join a local walk if one is being held in your community). Those able to meet him in Ottawa can take part in the finish of his walk and help to deliver a message to Parliament in support of Theo’s quest to put these crimes against children on the national agenda – a message about healing and advocacy that is important for us all to embrace.

Here’s wishing Theo and his team the very best for their 10-day trek. And thanks, Theo, for standing as a leader in this vital conversation.





Happy International Women’s Day!

8 03 2013

Borrowing from another excellent message distributed today by Miss Representation (www.missrepresentation.org), here’s a reminder to think about change as we celebrate women and girls in all their potential…

toddlers and tiaras

Today is International Women’s Day, so let’s take this collective moment to pledge to end the oppression of women worldwide – in all its forms. Let’s pledge to end not only the overt violence directed at women daily, but the institutional sexism holding us back and the destructive representations of women in the media which contribute to that same culture of negating women and denying them their equal seat at the tables of power. After all, as long as the media hypersexualizes and objectifies women, they normalize treating women as second-class citizens and objects for the male gaze, which further contributes to violence against women.

Katy Couric

We encourage you to spend this special day not only supporting those organizations creating change in the treatment of women globally, but thinking personally about how you can make an impact on the lives of women and girls everywhere. Each of us can play a small part in transforming the way our culture views, values, and treats women and girls.





This Valentine’s Day, spread the love and spread the word

8 02 2013

www.missrepresentation.orgLast Sunday, during the biggest media event of the year, supporters of Miss Representation came together to put sexism in advertising in the spotlight and make it a topic of conversation. As a result, over 4 million people heard or saw their critiques of Super Bowl commercials and their message was picked up by numerous major news outlets, including CNN and National Public Radio (NPR). As a result, countless thousands have been inspired to be more aware of the representations of gender they consume daily. That’s what I love about Miss Representation – they’re continually bringing solid information to new audiences what are then able to decide for themselves about the values that are important to them.

Go Daddy alone received more than 7,500 tweets in just 5 hours concerning their stereotypical and demeaning Super Bowl ad. This was accomplished by thousands of individuals deciding to take a break from watching the big game to use their consumer voice to let advertisers know: when it comes to using sexism to sell, we’re #NotBuyingIt! (that’s the Miss Representation campaign, by the way).

And it works. After Teleflora’s highly offensive and degrading Super Bowl commercial, which implied that women would exchange sex with any man who could afford a few flowers, hundreds of folks took to Twitter to express their dismay and disgust. In a show of the increasing ability of social media to create real change, Harrod’s in London removed two children’s books from their children’s reading room after users on Twitter, with the help of the #NotBuyingIt hashtag, let the store know that the items promoted gender stereotypes.

Next Thursday, on Valentine’s Day, Miss Representation is helping to coordinate another effort aimed at showing what we’re capable of when we band together under a common cause. On February 14th, Eve Ensler’s V-Day organization is organizing one billion women, and those who love them, to rise up and demand an end to violence against women.obr_logo-web

“Today, on the planet, a billion women – one of every three women on the planet – will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, and friends violated. V-Day REFUSES to stand by as more than a billion women experience violence.”

The worldwide event, One Billion Rising, is being held in cities and towns across the globe, and will feature performances, dances and women speaking out against violence in unity. To find out more, go to http://www.onebillionrising.org – and if you haven’t already become familiar with Miss Representation, visit their site at http://www.missrepresentation.org.

The Valentine’s Day, spread the love and spread the word – 1 billion women violated is an atrocity. 1 billion women dancing is a revolution.





Unthinkable…again

16 12 2012

Sandy Hook ElementaryThe violent loss of so many young children, their teachers, and school psychologist, in Connecticut has us all feeling yet again the impact of another horrible and heartbreaking tragedy. Among the many questions that arise, including “why?”, parents and professionals working with children are asking how best to reassure and support kids in the wake of such violence. The Canadian Association of School Psychologists recommends the resources available from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in the U.S. including information about helping children cope, talking to children about violence, and tips for reinforcing school safety.

Those wanting to access these resources can visit the NASP web site:  http://www.nasponline.org/