The Stark Reality in Niagara

Child abuse is a sad reality that can happen in any family, community or neighbourhood. It transcends all backgrounds, cultures and walks of life.

Niagara Regional Police Service reports that at least ONE case of sexual or physical assault on children or youth is investigated each day in our region. Our statistics show that no one municipality within the region has a greater percentage of child abuse than another. The Kristen French CACN is committed to working with all 12 municipalities within our region to engage and empower them to take responsibility and collectively respond to one of the most serious social health concerns of our community.

 

In 2013 alone, Niagara Regional Police Service investigated close to 400 cases of child abuse related reports in our region alone.

On average, ONE interview per day takes place at the Kristen French CACN. Since opening in the fall of 2008, over 2400 children/youth and their caring family members have found a safe place to disclose abuse. Most often, 94% of the time, children interviewed at the Center know their alleged abuser. Without help and support, the long term impacts of abuse can be devastating.

Kristen French CACN Compiled Statistics from Opening to December 2014

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“…thank you for giving innocent children the attention and care they deserve and for your efforts to bring these important and valuable services to the community of Niagara.”

Steve Sullivan – Canada’s First Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

 

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Canadian statistics show…

  • 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before they are 18. Annually, children and youth of all ages experience abuse in the Niagara Region.
  • Nationally in 2013, nearly 58,000 children and youth were victims of violence with sexual offences against children occurring at rate of five times higher than that recorded for adults 18 years and older in Canada
  • The majority of violence against children and youth are committed by someone known to the victim (52% were acquaintances or friends, 29% were family members, ONLY 19% were strangers)
  • 58,000: Number of children and youth (ages 0 to 17) reported by police to have been physically or sexually abused in 2013
  • 4 in 10: Number of children and youth of this total to have been abused by a family member
  • 33% – of children and youth abused by a family member have been sexually abused
  • 67% of children and youth abused by a family member have been physically abused
  • Sexual abuse committed by family members was four times higher for girls than boys

Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. (2013). Family violence in Canada: a statistical profile. (Catalogue No. 85-002-X). Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada.

  • A child who suffers abuse may become violent, do poorly in school (they’re 30% less likely to graduate from high school) and pull away from friends
  • A youth may run away from home, struggle with addiction, take part in criminal activity, become homeless (they’re 26x more likely to be homeless), attempt suicide or even become an abuser
  • An adult may struggle with drugs, alcohol, depression or other mental health issues, engage in criminal activity (they’re 2x as likely to be arrested) or experience homelessness