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Feb 14, 2008
Your thank you and question...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

James, accolades are always graciously accepted and appreciated.

As for your question, I've hit a brick wall when it comes to furthering awareness of child abuse in the schools here in my own city in Canada.

Every year, when our government sits down to set budgets, local newspapers report on how school boards have had to, or will have to, cut their budgets and force the individual schools in their districts to find creative ways to continue to offer programs.

One such budget-cutting measure prompted public schools throughout the province of British Colombia to impose extra fees from parents in order to help cover the cost of materials for various courses, field trips, etc., rather than lose them. A well-intentioned school board trustee in the city of Victoria filed a lawsuit against the government seeking a province-wide ban on the practice of imposing extra fees, citing these fees contravened the B.C. School Act and created a two-tiered education system. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in his favour.

The result was the cancellation of many school programmes. Schools were left with practically zero funds for any type of awareness-based curricula. Schools had to make difficult cost-saving choices. Rather than invite me to facilitate workshops on child abuse, administrators opted instead for workshops that dealt with the increasingly disturbing trend toward relationship violence. While I recognize the need for workshops in high schools on this troubling trend, to do it at the expense of my efforts at child abuse awareness was a huge blow. I had to make some difficult decisions of my own. One of those decisions was to give up volunteering in the schools in order to focus on a forum- as well as information-based website about the effects of child abuse. Thus, the ever-expanding nature of this website.

So you see, James, other than what I continue to do through the various aspects of my website, I do not have an answer for how to increase awareness in schools, other than to say they need more dedicated money in order to provide such programmes. I am every bit as frustrated as you, and many others.

As for media attention, I personally am inundated with worldwide articles and stories about child abuse every single day. Many of the articles I receive in my inbox are of charges laid against abusers. Some report on the results of various studies conducted. Still others point fingers at who they believe is to blame when a child is murdered at the hands of a caregiver.

Again James, I offer no concrete answers, except to say that I will continue to bring about awareness of the global epidemic that is child abuse through this website; and I hope that you will continue to contribute to that cause.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the child abuse
stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.



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