By Megan Rach
Students in the Humber College Early Childhood Education program want to help end child abuse.
October is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Humber’s ECE student council has partnered with Boost, Canada’s child abuse prevention and intervention program, in an effort to raise awareness and funds.
Camped out in the hallway in front of the School of Health Sciences, the ECE student council has a booth set up, full of ribbons, bracelets and buttons, hoping to spread the word.
Ashlee Harris, ECE student council volunteer, told Humber News they’re collecting spare change to help children who may feel helpless themselves.
It’s estimated there are 29,143 abused children in Ontario.
“Any donation — a nickel, a penny if you have — you can give your coffee money for one day, right?” said Harris.
Students and faculty alike gave their time to work with Boost.
“We talked about it about two weeks ago, and it really just came together with the help of the student council committees and the teachers,” said Harris.
According to statistics from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect, 93% of alleged perpetrators are known to their child victims.
The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies reports 54% of individuals surveyed would not report suspected child abuse, and 55% said they would find it difficult to report someone they knew well.
Potentially, more than half of all child abuse cases go unreported, according to the Children’s Aid Society.
Emma Johnson, ECE student council volunteer, hopes that their efforts will lead to change.
“Any money makes a change,” said Johnson. “Even if we only make $2, it’s $2 more towards child abuse prevention. Realistically, we’re hoping to raise $300 which would be great,” said Johnson.
The ECE student council holds events throughout the year that educate people and raise awareness about issues that involve children.
The booth will remain outside of the School of Health Sciences office all day, and students are urged to make donations of any amount.