CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - March 7, 2014) - Public Health Agency of Canada
Today, Minister Ambrose co-hosted a round table with the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre and 12 national healthcare and mental health organizations, seeking advice, guidance and commitment on how best to prevent and respond to family violence and child maltreatment.
Family violence affects us all. While much has been done in recent years to improve the response to family violence, more needs to be done to prevent it from happening in the first place. The impact of family violence is significant and has a lasting impact on the health and mental wellbeing of those who are victimized by it.
The Government of Canada is committed to raising the profile of this issue, to broadening understanding and awareness and to sharing information on those who are at greatest risk.
The goal of the round table is to bring together stakeholders to talk about tangible outcomes and a commitment to deal with child maltreatment and family violence.
Following the round table, Minister Ambrose and Laureen Harper toured the Child Advocacy Centre to meet directly with the front-line employees who are making a difference in the lives of children.
- In 2011 alone, there were over 95,000 reports of family violence in Canada, representing over 25% of all reported violent crime in Canada.
- Family violence has serious and lasting consequences for individuals, families and society, as well as significant economic costs on the health care and justice systems.
- A report from Justice Canada found spousal violence alone cost society at least $7.4 billion annually. Of that total, an estimated $6 billion accounts for health care costs for medical treatment and psychological services.
- Last week, Minister MacKay introduced comprehensive legislation to better address the issue of sexual offences committed against children, further supporting the Government of Canada's commitment to stand up for young victims of crime.
"Preventing family violence and child maltreatment is an achievable goal. Trusted and lasting partnerships between the community, healthcare and mental health organizations and others are essential to yield the greatest impact and achieve permanent solutions. I believe this has been a groundbreaking meeting amongst professionals, and this round table has generated a commitment to confronting this issue head-on. I thank Sheldon Kennedy for his tireless efforts in protecting children, and look forward to leadership from all sectors in delivering tangible actions that will improve and protect the lives of our children and families."
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health
"We are very excited to see the health community take interest in these issues. We applaud Minister Ambrose for her leadership and bringing key stakeholders to the table in the spirit of collaboration to put focus on child abuse as a public health issue."
Board Member of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre
Government of Canada's action to prevent family violence