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April 25, 2013
For immediate release
Child sexual abuse protocol provides for coordinated approach
Environment, Labour and Justice
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The overriding goal of the provincial Child Sexual Abuse Protocol is the protection of children, says Valerie E. Docherty, Minister of Community Services and Seniors.
Members of the Provincial Child Sexual Abuse Advisory Committee were at the provincial legislature today to join Ms. Docherty and Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry to announce the development and implementation of the newly revised provincial Child Sexual Abuse Protocol.
“Justice workers and police have to work in challenging and emotionally-loaded situations, but cases where child abuse is suspected can be the most difficult of all,” said Minister Sherry. “By providing clear guidance and procedures, we can respect the rights of everyone involved while making sure the protection of vulnerable children remains our top priority.”
The Child Sexual Abuse Protocol provides guidelines and procedures for a coordinated response to child sexual abuse in Prince Edward Island. The protocol is intended to provide assistance to a network of professionals including child protection workers, law enforcement, justice system personnel, child and youth care providers, school and early childhood personnel, the medical profession, mental health, addictions, and other health care providers.
“Children have the right to be protected from abuse and neglect,” said Ms. Docherty. “All members of society, families, communities, governments and police are responsible to ensure the safety and well-being of children, our most precious resource.”
The document was signed by representatives of Government, First Nations and Police Agencies of Prince Edward Island, agreeing to the following:
• The prevention of child sexual abuse is the collective responsibility of the entire community.
• Public education is an essential component of prevention of child sexual abuse.
• Effective response requires full cooperation and coordination of all segments of the community.
• Core personnel require specialized ongoing training and education.
• Child protection and police authorities will work as a team with immediacy and planned joint intervention.
• The risk of child sexual abusers re-offending remains high without appropriate treatment and/or monitoring.
• Attention must be given to the development of specialized crisis and treatment services for the child victim and non-offending family members.
Training sessions to familiarize Island professionals with the newly revised protocol will be held on June 10 in Charlottetown and June 11 in Summerside. The document Child Sexual Abuse Protocol: Guidelines and Procedures for a Coordinated Response to Child Sexual Abuse in Prince Edward Island is available to the public at www.gov.pe.ca/childsexualabuseprotocol.