PANS-09

Police AssociAtion of novA scotiA 63 Girls and boys are affected differently by abuse. Compared to boys, girls are more likely to internalize their response to violence, and experience, for example, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, low self-esteem and psychological disorders. Boys are more likely to externalize their response to violence, displaying, for example, increased aggression, delinquency and spousal abuse. Boys who have been exposed to violence in their homes are more likely to be violent in their adolescent and adult relationships than boys not exposed to violence. PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO CHILD ABUSE In Canada, child welfare laws require that all cases of suspected child abuse must be investigated to determine if a child is in need of protection. If a child is determined to be in need of protection, the child welfare authorities may respond by, for example, providing counseling and support for the family, removing the child (temporarily or permanently) from the home, or removing the abuser(s) from the home. Criminal sanctions may also apply in cases of sexual or physical abuse. Since the 1960s, significant steps have been taken to address child abuse in Canada including, for example: • the introduction of mandatory reporting laws • the creation of child abuse registries • changes to the Criminal Code and the Canada Evidence Act (see Reforming the law and enhancing its implementation); • the extension of time limits for laying charges in child sexual abuse cases, and • the establishment of child protection agencies run by First Nations. Further, since the landmark reports by Badgley (1984) and Rogers (1990), legislation to address child sexual abuse has been created and efforts to address the sexual exploitation of children are ongoing. Following the 1996 report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the federal government acknowledged its role in the occurrence of physical and sexual abuse in residential schools, and implemented a community-based healing strategy for Aboriginal communities (Gathering Strength). Given the extent of child abuse in Canada - as well as the complexity of this issue and its enormous impact - effectively preventing, identifying and responding to child abuse is an enormous but essential task. Addressing this issue requires the ongoing commitment and collaboration of community members, practitioners, and policy makers across Canada. Community supports and services for victims and their families are essential. The Department of Justice du Canada and its partners - including non-governmental organizations, provincial and territorial governments and the private sector - are actively involved in addressing child abuse issues through legal reform, public and professional education, research and support for programs and services. Some of this work is linked to the Department's participation in the federal government's current Family Violence Initiative which focuses on violence against women and children that occurs in the home, while other areas of activity are linked to other initiatives including, for example, the National Children's Agenda, the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, and the National Strategy on Crime Prevention and Community Safety. REFORMING THE LAW AND ENHANCING ITS IMPLEMENTATION In Canada, child abuse and exploitation are prohibited by the Criminal Code. For example, offenders may be charged under the Criminal Code for assaulting children. At the provincial/ territorial level, child protection legislation permits intervention to ensure children's safety and welfare. In recent years, the Criminal Code has been amended to create new criminal offences relating to child sexual assault, to specifically include female genital mutilation in the aggravated assault provision, and to amend the provisions on child sex tourism. Currently, Bill C-15 proposes legislation to protect children from sexual exploitation by criminalizing a number of specific actions including luring children on the Internet; transmitting, making available, or exporting child pornography on the Internet; or intentionally accessing child pornography on the Internet. Sentencing provisions would also be strengthened. Bill C-15 also proposes measures to make it easier to prosecute people involved in child sex tourism. Federal law also seeks to protect child witnesses. For example, recent amendments to the Canada Evidence Act, whichdefine the forms of evidence that may be admitted in court, allow children, depending on their age and the type of offence involved, to be accompanied by a support person when they testify in court. Further, children can no longer be cross-examined by an accused; they may be allowed to provide testimony outside the courtroom or behind screens; and a videotape may be admitted as evidence, in lieu of a child's in-person testimony. As part of the Children as Victims Project, the Child Abuse: A fact sheet from the Department of Justice Canada Department of Justice Canada Family Violence Initiative ...Family Violence Initiative continued continued...

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy MTM0NTk1OA==