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Waypoints recognizes child abuse prevention month

IMAGE. Supplied by Waypoints

Across the province, child advocacy organizations remember Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Local awareness group Waypoints also announced final preparations for the region’s first Child Advocacy Centre.

Named “The Care Centre for Children and Youth”, the centre should open in early 2020.

Janine Keagan, Sexual Assault Program Manager at Waypoints, said victims of child abuse largely don’t report cases to the authorities.

“It is everyone’s legal and moral duty to report child abuse and we all need to equip ourselves with the tools to recognize abuse and speak up for our children.”

Keagan added Waypoints looks forward to providing specialized care to our community’s most vulnerable.

Moreover, Alberta houses eight of the country’s 27 child advocacy centres.

Children and youth who experience abuse find centres to be a safe place where they may share their stories and find comfort and support.

They and their trusted or non-offending caregivers receive support and healing throughout the investigative and judicial process.

Blue is the colour

On Oct. 24, 2019, residents may join Waypoints staff in wearing blue in support of child abuse survivors and to raise awareness.

Keagan said this show of support sparks conversation, creates a community that believes children and provides a safe space for them to share their story.

According to the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative, 59 per cent of child abuse victims from 2016-18 are girls.