April is recognized as Child Abuse Prevention month in many parts of the world, including in America since 1983. The mayor of Regina has also recognized April as Child Abuse Prevention month. According to self-reported data from the 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization, one-third (33%) of Canadians aged 15 and older experienced some form of maltreatment during childhood. COVID-19 has exacerbated the impacts and occurrences of child abuse, including an increase in neglect and head trauma in infants. There are practical ways to raise awareness and support the prevention of child abuse, including: learning the facts about child abuse and its prevalence; minimizing the opportunity for children to experience isolation; openly discussing what child maltreatment is and what to do about it with children; knowing the signs of child maltreatment and how to recognize them; and reacting calmly and appropriately to disclosures to show the child that they can trust you.
Although ways to raise awareness this year look different due to COVID-19, Holding Hope SK is encouraging people to wear blue for child abuse awareness and prevention. Holding Hope is a new youth-led community organization on a mission to provide awareness about and increase the prevention of child abuse through education. To support this cause, wear blue on April 14 and post on social media using the hashtag “#saskwearsblue”.