FCS launches Child Abuse Prevention Month
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Flanked by children, members of the Purple Ribbon Committee and staff of RY-J's Climbing Adventures Family and Children's Services of Renfrew County executive director Arijana Haramincic (centre) launched Child Abuse Prevention Month along with Mayor Mike LeMay (fourth from left) and Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski.
Family and Children's Services of Renfrew County launched their annual Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign Saturday hoping to raise awareness about the role that everybody in the community plays in keeping our children safe.
With folks wearing purple t-shirts and ribbons, it was a lighter atmosphere at RY-J's Climbing Adventures in the Pembroke Mall as a special party was hosted for children and their parents. However, the day also carried a critical message.
October is Child Abuse Prevention Month, an initiative of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. On Tuesday, Oct. 24, communities across Ontario will be asking people to dress in purple to break the silence and show their commitment to children’s rights to safety and well-being. The Dress Purple Day aims to acknowledge that it takes a village to keep kids safe and that everybody in the community plays a role in supporting children’s rights.
“We all have a role to play,” said FCS executive director Arijana Haramincic “It doesn't how small you think you can contribute. You can contribute with your voice. Your can contribute with education. You can contribute by caring for the children and volunteering. If all of us actually speak to it, then it will be better for the children in the future.”
There are many types of child abuse, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and exposure to domestic violence. Child neglect is also considered an equally serious child protection concern. According to the association, research shows that the impact of neglect on child development and well-being can be more damaging than any other kind of abuse.
Approximately 90 per cent of the families that receive child protection services from Children’s Aid Societies are struggling with chronic needs such as trauma, poverty, mental health issues, and addictions. The overarching message of Child Abuse Prevention Month from community leaders at the event was that citizens need to collectively speak up and share the message that child abuse and neglect can be prevented and that help is available.
“Child abuse can't be tolerated from the word go. There is zero tolerance,” said Mayor Mike LeMay. “The thing that is so sad is we know that it is out there but we also know there are partners with Family and Children’s Services to do something about it.”
“We don't have a greater asset in our society than our children,” added Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski. “Our number one priority is to protect our children. Our legacy is about our children.”
Children’s aid societies across Ontario will also be working collaboratively during Child Abuse Prevention Month with boards of education, key partners in supporting the safety and well-being of children and youth. Schools play an important role in keeping children safe and in helping families that may need support to help keep their children safe.
Members of the Purple Ribbon Committee wished to thank RY-J's Climbing Adventures who provided the games and venue free of charge for this event.