Toronto groups encourage people to 'break the silence' on Go Purple Day

News Oct 20, 2016 by Tara Hatherly East York Mirror

Community organizations from throughout Toronto came together to mark Go Purple Day Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Go Purple Day encourages people to “break the silence” and speak out to get help for kids in need, in honour of October being Child Abuse Prevention Month. People dress in purple and wear purple ribbons on the day to raise awareness.

Representatives from Toronto’s public and Catholic school boards and Children’s Aid Societies, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Jewish Family and Child, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, and Toronto Police Service were joined by members of Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services for the event at St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School in East York.

“The safety of children across the city of Toronto is a responsibility we all share,” David Rivard, CEO for Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, told the crowd. “During the month of October we take extra steps to remind the community that the safety and well-being of children and youth needs to be our first priority, and that we need to keep their voice at the centre of everything we do.”

Everyone — not just doctors, teachers and police officers — is legally required to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the appropriate authorities. In 2013, just three per cent of Children’s Aid investigations resulted in children being removed from homes in Ontario. Most investigations help families access needed supports.

Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children and Youth Services, MPP Sophie Kiwala, spoke at the event on behalf of Minister Michael Couteau.

“We encourage all Ontarians to learn the signs of child abuse and neglect,” Kiwala said. “Every child deserves a safe, loving and nurturing home. Their safety is a collective concern. We all have a role to play.

“Ontarians should never hesitate to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect,” she added. “It’s not necessary for a person to be 100 per cent certain if a child is in need of protection to make a report to a society. They only need to have reasonable grounds for their suspicion. And ‘reasonable grounds’ refers to the information that an average person using normal and honest judgment would need in order to decide to report.”

St. Patrick students helped make a video pledging to break the silence that can be watched at https://youtu.be/Si5D_hsEBaU/. After the event, the students read A Tattle-tell Tale: A story about getting help to Grade 1 and 2 students from Earl Haig Public School. The story teaches kids that speaking up about needing help with a serious problem isn’t tattling.

Before that, the Earl Haig students symbolically broke the silence by running through and breaking a large banner with the Go Purple Day social media slogan, #iBREAKthesilence.

Pauline Umli and Stewart Martin, youths who were cared for by the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, spoke at the event, delivering powerful messages of what it means to break the silence.

“Staying silent helps no one,” said Martin, sharing that for years he found it too difficult to ask for the help he needed.

“Words, yes they can hurt, but more importantly they can heal and they can prevent,” he told the crowd. “Breaking the silence shines a light on the wrongs that need to be made right … Use your voice to break the silence, today and every day.”

Both Umli and Martin are working to become police officers to help keep their communities safe. It took Umli a couple years to tell a teacher she needed help dealing with an unhealthy home environment.

“At first, like most people who go through things that I went through, I kept silent, not wanting to get my mom in trouble or not wanting to put shame on my family name,” she recalled. “My teacher who was moved by my story, she took it to higher authorities, and at first I was very scared. I didn’t know what the future held, but what my teacher did was the absolute right thing to do.

“Three years later, I couldn’t be happier and more thankful,” she shared. “I learned after many years that every child deserves happiness and a loving home. And if you know someone with safety concerns, please help them help themselves. Break the silence.”

To honour Go Purple Day, the CN Tower will glow purple overnight Wednesday, Oct. 19. Visit www.ontario.ca/stopchildabuse for information from Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services about spotting child abuse and neglect, and how to report it.

Toronto groups encourage people to 'break the silence' on Go Purple Day

News Oct 20, 2016 by Tara Hatherly East York Mirror

Community organizations from throughout Toronto came together to mark Go Purple Day Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Go Purple Day encourages people to “break the silence” and speak out to get help for kids in need, in honour of October being Child Abuse Prevention Month. People dress in purple and wear purple ribbons on the day to raise awareness.

Representatives from Toronto’s public and Catholic school boards and Children’s Aid Societies, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Jewish Family and Child, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, and Toronto Police Service were joined by members of Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services for the event at St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School in East York.

“The safety of children across the city of Toronto is a responsibility we all share,” David Rivard, CEO for Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, told the crowd. “During the month of October we take extra steps to remind the community that the safety and well-being of children and youth needs to be our first priority, and that we need to keep their voice at the centre of everything we do.”

Everyone — not just doctors, teachers and police officers — is legally required to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the appropriate authorities. In 2013, just three per cent of Children’s Aid investigations resulted in children being removed from homes in Ontario. Most investigations help families access needed supports.

Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children and Youth Services, MPP Sophie Kiwala, spoke at the event on behalf of Minister Michael Couteau.

“We encourage all Ontarians to learn the signs of child abuse and neglect,” Kiwala said. “Every child deserves a safe, loving and nurturing home. Their safety is a collective concern. We all have a role to play.

“Ontarians should never hesitate to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect,” she added. “It’s not necessary for a person to be 100 per cent certain if a child is in need of protection to make a report to a society. They only need to have reasonable grounds for their suspicion. And ‘reasonable grounds’ refers to the information that an average person using normal and honest judgment would need in order to decide to report.”

St. Patrick students helped make a video pledging to break the silence that can be watched at https://youtu.be/Si5D_hsEBaU/. After the event, the students read A Tattle-tell Tale: A story about getting help to Grade 1 and 2 students from Earl Haig Public School. The story teaches kids that speaking up about needing help with a serious problem isn’t tattling.

Before that, the Earl Haig students symbolically broke the silence by running through and breaking a large banner with the Go Purple Day social media slogan, #iBREAKthesilence.

Pauline Umli and Stewart Martin, youths who were cared for by the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, spoke at the event, delivering powerful messages of what it means to break the silence.

“Staying silent helps no one,” said Martin, sharing that for years he found it too difficult to ask for the help he needed.

“Words, yes they can hurt, but more importantly they can heal and they can prevent,” he told the crowd. “Breaking the silence shines a light on the wrongs that need to be made right … Use your voice to break the silence, today and every day.”

Both Umli and Martin are working to become police officers to help keep their communities safe. It took Umli a couple years to tell a teacher she needed help dealing with an unhealthy home environment.

“At first, like most people who go through things that I went through, I kept silent, not wanting to get my mom in trouble or not wanting to put shame on my family name,” she recalled. “My teacher who was moved by my story, she took it to higher authorities, and at first I was very scared. I didn’t know what the future held, but what my teacher did was the absolute right thing to do.

“Three years later, I couldn’t be happier and more thankful,” she shared. “I learned after many years that every child deserves happiness and a loving home. And if you know someone with safety concerns, please help them help themselves. Break the silence.”

To honour Go Purple Day, the CN Tower will glow purple overnight Wednesday, Oct. 19. Visit www.ontario.ca/stopchildabuse for information from Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services about spotting child abuse and neglect, and how to report it.

Toronto groups encourage people to 'break the silence' on Go Purple Day

News Oct 20, 2016 by Tara Hatherly East York Mirror

Community organizations from throughout Toronto came together to mark Go Purple Day Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Go Purple Day encourages people to “break the silence” and speak out to get help for kids in need, in honour of October being Child Abuse Prevention Month. People dress in purple and wear purple ribbons on the day to raise awareness.

Representatives from Toronto’s public and Catholic school boards and Children’s Aid Societies, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Jewish Family and Child, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, and Toronto Police Service were joined by members of Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services for the event at St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School in East York.

“The safety of children across the city of Toronto is a responsibility we all share,” David Rivard, CEO for Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, told the crowd. “During the month of October we take extra steps to remind the community that the safety and well-being of children and youth needs to be our first priority, and that we need to keep their voice at the centre of everything we do.”

Everyone — not just doctors, teachers and police officers — is legally required to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the appropriate authorities. In 2013, just three per cent of Children’s Aid investigations resulted in children being removed from homes in Ontario. Most investigations help families access needed supports.

Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children and Youth Services, MPP Sophie Kiwala, spoke at the event on behalf of Minister Michael Couteau.

“We encourage all Ontarians to learn the signs of child abuse and neglect,” Kiwala said. “Every child deserves a safe, loving and nurturing home. Their safety is a collective concern. We all have a role to play.

“Ontarians should never hesitate to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect,” she added. “It’s not necessary for a person to be 100 per cent certain if a child is in need of protection to make a report to a society. They only need to have reasonable grounds for their suspicion. And ‘reasonable grounds’ refers to the information that an average person using normal and honest judgment would need in order to decide to report.”

St. Patrick students helped make a video pledging to break the silence that can be watched at https://youtu.be/Si5D_hsEBaU/. After the event, the students read A Tattle-tell Tale: A story about getting help to Grade 1 and 2 students from Earl Haig Public School. The story teaches kids that speaking up about needing help with a serious problem isn’t tattling.

Before that, the Earl Haig students symbolically broke the silence by running through and breaking a large banner with the Go Purple Day social media slogan, #iBREAKthesilence.

Pauline Umli and Stewart Martin, youths who were cared for by the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, spoke at the event, delivering powerful messages of what it means to break the silence.

“Staying silent helps no one,” said Martin, sharing that for years he found it too difficult to ask for the help he needed.

“Words, yes they can hurt, but more importantly they can heal and they can prevent,” he told the crowd. “Breaking the silence shines a light on the wrongs that need to be made right … Use your voice to break the silence, today and every day.”

Both Umli and Martin are working to become police officers to help keep their communities safe. It took Umli a couple years to tell a teacher she needed help dealing with an unhealthy home environment.

“At first, like most people who go through things that I went through, I kept silent, not wanting to get my mom in trouble or not wanting to put shame on my family name,” she recalled. “My teacher who was moved by my story, she took it to higher authorities, and at first I was very scared. I didn’t know what the future held, but what my teacher did was the absolute right thing to do.

“Three years later, I couldn’t be happier and more thankful,” she shared. “I learned after many years that every child deserves happiness and a loving home. And if you know someone with safety concerns, please help them help themselves. Break the silence.”

To honour Go Purple Day, the CN Tower will glow purple overnight Wednesday, Oct. 19. Visit www.ontario.ca/stopchildabuse for information from Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services about spotting child abuse and neglect, and how to report it.