Ottawa residents don't know how to report child abuse

    Child Abuse Prevention Month Begins October 1st

    OTTAWA, Sept. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Last year, the Children's Aid Society of
Ottawa received over 25,000 calls and inquiries. Of these calls, over 6,500
were reports of child abuse or neglect from concerned community members.
During the same period, almost 6,000 families received child welfare services
and parenting supports from the Society to cope with stress, poverty,
addiction and mental health problems.
    "Each of us has a responsibility to protect the children and youth of our
community from abuse and harm. We can all do this by learning the signs of
child abuse and neglect and by reporting suspected child abuse to a Children's
Aid Society" says Barbara MacKinnon, Executive Director of The Children's Aid
Society of Ottawa. "Even the slightest suspicion can warrant a call to our
    According to a 2008 survey polling 1,000 Ottawa residents, almost 85% of
Ottawa residents would report child abuse if they knew that a child was being
abused, however previous studies have shown that the number is much lower when
asked if they would report 'suspicions' of child abuse and neglect. The study
also showed that 55% of Ottawa residents would not know how to report abuse.
    Too many children in our community are suffering abuse at the hands of
adults they know and trust. That's why, for the past 10 years, the Children's
Aid Society of Ottawa has been educating and building awareness during
October - Child Abuse Prevention Month - to ensure children and youth are
safe, healthy and well cared for. For the past 4 years, the City of Ottawa has
been declaring one day during that month as Child Abuse Prevention day in the
city. This year, Friday, October 3rd, has been declared.
    This year, our theme is "Kids shouldn't have to live with abuse" to
remind the public that they need to take responsibility to ensure the safety
and security of children and youth, ensuring that they have can look forward
to a positive and successful future. Ottawa residents can learn more about
child abuse, how to recognize the subtle and obvious signs of abuse and how to
report it at

    The following are events marking the month:
    Media Event number 1 (photo-op): OC Transpo Handouts

    CAS employees, board members and local politicians will be at various
Transitway stops handing out Purple wristbands and buttons.

    When:                 October 3, 7:00 am to 8:00 am

    Where:                Place D'Orleans, Rideau Centre at MacKenzie Bridge,
                          Baseline, Billings Bridge, and Tunneys Pasture

    Media Availability:   Any participant

    Media Event number 2 (photo-op): USE YOUR VOICE Challenge

    Use Your Voice Challenge. Local celebrities and politicians are invited to
test their voices to raise awareness of the issue of child abuse.
Representatives from ListenUp! Canada will be there to measure decibels of
those who chose to 'use their voice' to shout out 'Stand up for kids - Give
them a voice!'. This event will be hosted by René Manning of KISS FM.

    When:                 October 4, noon

    Where:                Bayshore Mall, Main level across from Body Shop,
                          near Customer Service

    Media Availability:   Barbara MacKinnon, CAS Executive Director;
                          Yassir Naqvi, M.P.P.;
                          Lisa MacLoed, M.P.P.;
                          Marlene Rivier, M.P. candidate
                          Christine Ledman, City Councillor-Kitchissippi Ward
                          Lisa Davis, Representative National Youth In Care

    Other Participants:   Cub Carson(The Bear FM)
                          John Scafiti (Y101)

For further information:

For further information: France Clost, Communications, The Children's
Aid Society of Ottawa, (613) 747-7800 ext. 2033,

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