Posted on: Sunday, October 17th, 2021
October is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Canada, committed to spreading awareness about the prevention of child abuse. According to the Canadian Red Cross, child abuse is defined as any type of physical, emotional, and/or sexual mistreatment or neglect of a child or youth that results in injury or emotional harm. Examples of emotional abuse include degrading, belittling, isolating, ignoring, and more.
In 2005, UNICEF estimated that between 133-275 million children globally, are exposed to family violence. In 2003, neglect was the most prevalent kind of child maltreatment reported to social workers in Canada, while a study conducted in Ontario revealed that 31% of males and 21% of females had been physically abused as children. These statistics reveal the importance of raising awareness of the seriousness of child abuse and instead of shying away from the topic, we need to speak out about it even more.
It is critical to act appropriately if you suspect or learn a child or youth has been abused. Here is some advice shared by the Canadian Red Cross to help you respond to and report child abuse. Firstly, acknowledge and validate the child’s circumstances and feelings. Secondly, console the child and assure them that they are safe. Thirdly, document what the child says and/or what you witness, and then immediately report to your local child protection authority or the police.
Stay aware and help protect our future and our next generation.