October is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
THUNDER BAY – Local campaign intensifies to fight child abuse
October is Child Abuse Prevention Month and this year marks the 12th consecutive year of Dilico Anishinabek Family Care’s Step Up campaign in Thunder Bay and surrounding communities.
âThe Step Up campaign is an awareness campaign,â said Dilico Anishabek Family Care Executive Director Darcia Borg. “This is our 12th year that we have this Step Up campaign and it is about raising awareness about child abuse.”
This year, the annual campaign puts the voice of Indigenous youth at the forefront and raises awareness of how the community can mobilize and come together to help keep children safe and strengthen families.
âStep Up 2021 is about amplifying the voices of Indigenous children and youth and coming together to build a future in which we can all feel safe,â said John Dixon, director of integrated services at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care.
“In doing so, we help children become strong individuals who will be able to stand up for themselves, identify child abuse, and support the health, happiness and safety of children and youth.”
As part of the Step Up 2021 campaign, Indigenous youth are expressing their perspective on how community and individuals can scale up and show that every child matters.
âThe community can make young people feel safe, connected and hopeful for the future, by being inclusive, including the views of young people, and by considering how things may affect them. Â», Declared Daanis Pelletier, young native.
âEncourage young people as well, make them feel that they matter and what they feel, rather than shutting them down because they are younger or not adults. “
The Step Up campaign began in 2009 in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Dilico’s goal is to remind Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities that we are all responsible for the health, happiness and well-being of children and youth.
âI am filled with belief and hope because when I hear the voices of our youth and our children, I know that the responsibilities our ancestors carried still are. We can still hear the voices of the land and the care and love for children, âBorg said.
- Take part in Go Purple Prevention Day on October 27. Find your favorite purple outfit. Take photos or videos of your staff, family and students in purple and share them on Facebook and Instagram with #StepUpTBay and tagging @stepupThunderBay. Photos can also be submitted to: [email protected]
- Wear a purple ribbon
- Take part in the Step Up treasure hunt
- Inquire. Learn the signs of child abuse and how you can help
- Take a step: print this imprint or create your own and write down how you pledge to act for children and youth in 2021. Children and youth are also encouraged to write what the community can do to take a step forward and make them feel connected, secure and hopeful for their future. Take a photo of your fingerprint and take the plunge by sharing it on your social media with the hashtag #StepUpTBay and tagging @StepUpThunderbay. You can also display it in your window for the month.
- Ask yourself the following question: âWhat am I doing to support the children and youth in my community? “
- Donate to the Mazinaajim Foundation for Children. Mazinaajim helps Indigenous youth make their dreams come true.
Dilico also virtually hosted the Come Together youth gathering for over 20 young people from the region on October 13th. A motivational talk was given by Turtle Concepts and there were some pretty amazing prizes for the young people who attended and learned how to step up and be a leader in the community.
For more information on the Step Up campaign, visit the Dilico website.