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County Brass Boosts FTP
November 7, 2006 permalink
Last month was child abuse prevention month, now it's woman abuse prevention. Too bad there's no mom and dad abuse prevention.
In support of this event, Family Transition Place has lined up a number of Dufferin dignitaries. No beneficiaries of FTP assistance were present. Maybe the women who took shelter in FTP and lost their children did not want to be in the picture.
Children often silent victims of abuse
On an overhead screen, there's a poster of a little boy. He's wearing pajamas, is clutching a teddy bear under one arm and a blanket with his other hand. His face is forlorn and his eyes are sad.
In the background, there's a silhouette of a man and a women. From their postures and body language, it's obvious there's conflict.
There are words on the poster that read: If you are being hurt your kids are hurting too.
The poster is suddenly accompanied by audio. It's the little boy, and he's describing what it's like to hear his parents fighting.
It's a powerful message -- one that says violence has no place in a child's life.
This is the focus of women abuse prevention month. The poster and audio recording were used to kick off the launch of the campaign, Nov. 1.
Six organizations -- Family Transition Place, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, Dufferin and Child Family Services, Dufferin Parent Support Network, the Early Years Centre, Dufferin and Headwaters Health Care Centre -- partnered to advocate for children's safety through this campaign.
In homes where there is domestic or familial abuse, they say, children are often the silent victims.
"The purpose of this campaign is to send the message that children are hurt by domestic violence," said Jennifer McLeod of WDGPH. "We want to raise awareness of the resources available."
To increase public recognition of women abuse prevention month, there will be a radio announcement, posters, brochures, a bus advertisement in Orangeville through November, as well as a still image at Galaxy Cinemas before each film in December.
"The need to raise awareness is clearly demonstrated by the prevalence of abuse," said McLeod.
Kim Evans of DCFS notes that in 2004, child protective services responded to 204 calls in Dufferin; McLeod noted that in the past year 128 children came with their abused mothers into the care of FTP.
Judy Finlay, chief advocate for the Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy, appeared as the guest speaker at the campaign launch.
Her role is to effectively intervene when children who live outside of their family's care report abuse. She has worked for more than three decades in the areas of child welfare and children's mental heath.
"The traumatic impact on children who witness familial violence is the same as the impact on kids who actually experience the violence," she said.
Local officials and campaign partners signed a proclamation declaring November as women abuse prevention month. The proclamation states that as a community, we need to raise awareness of the impact of domestic violence on children; enhance social services that address the impact of violence in the home on children; and create public policies and laws that protect children.
Orangeville mayor Drew Brown spoke to the campaign and the proclamation.
"When I look around the world, it makes me proud to be part of a community where we have stood up," he said. "We're saying we will not tolerate this, we will do what we must to stop violence."
For more information contact Sue Buckle of FTP at 519-942-4122 ext. 243 or McLeod at 519-829-1648 ext. 3219.
Source: Orangeville Banner