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Justin Tang/Canadian Press
"Until we start to put the resources there ... the story of murdered and missing is going to go on and on.''
Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press
Mental health services are "at best probably minimal and at worst non-existent."
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Bellegarde is pleading with chiefs to confront the problem head-on.
CP/Little Warriors HO
For the most part, Canadians are a kind and polite people. We help each other, we donate to causes, we rally against injustice and we mind our manners. But our weakness is that we often believe things are better than they actually are. For one, we're loathe to admit that bestiality happens in Canada and often coincides with child sexual abuse.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
"They can start trusting people again."
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There are stories I come across in the news that leave me feeling angry, frustrated and, at times, bewildered. But hearing the news that parole had been granted to Graham James, the disgraced former hockey coach convicted of sexually abusing young boys in his care, left a hollow ache of deep sadness in me.
After what feels like a lifetime of battling drug and alcohol addiction, and my own tenuous mental health issues, three years ago -- at the age of 47 -- I finally found the strength to tell my wife and adult son that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Like too many other survivors of childhood sexual violence who decide to go public with their disclosure, I have lost contact with my mother and my siblings as a result. If you really want to know how to destroy an already fragile soul, take away the one thing that a survivor of sexual violence needs most -- connection, which equates as validation and worthiness.
As a scared child, I ran away from the abuse around me, and as an adult, I used drugs and alcohol to run away from the trauma inside me. But here's the interesting part -- shortly after I got clean and sober, I actually took up the sport of running. This fall, I will be running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon three times in the same day (126.6 km), not as a fundraiser, but simply to show others how resilient we are, even after the trauma of sexual violence. But most importantly, I hope that my campaign will build upon the momentum we are starting to see in the media about the prevalence of sexual violence and the need to address the countless lives that lay in its wake.
My name is Jean-Paul, and I am in treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Hearing me say that usually elicits one of two responses in people -- abject pity or recoiling fear. I want you to know that I understand where you're coming from, but allow me a few minutes to see if we can change this dialogue.
These videos will break the silence and send shivers down your back. An ad campaign by Mexican non-profit organization Dif Zapopan — which promotes social and human development — lays bare the problem...
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I sat across from my therapist as she said: "So, in your own words, can you tell me what it feels like? "Well... have you ever run across a grassy field in your bare feet, the unencumbered freedom of...
If I look at a snapshot of my life 18 years ago, I see a young man ravaged by a spiraling alcohol and drug addiction, a man fractured in spirit desperate to claw his way out of the darkest hell of a deep depression. Shortly after entering a treatment program to deal with my addiction issues, I took my first tentative steps into the world of running. Before I knew it, I had found my "people." I had stumbled upon my "tribe."
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The death of comedian Robin Williams last month sparked a worldwide discussion about suicide, its underlying causes and how it might be prevented. And, with World Suicide Prevention Day taking place Sept. 10, the subject is certain to generate more debate as people seek to understand this important health issue. Having spent 10 years researching the subject while working as a professor of psychiatry, I believe there are things we can do as a community to tackle this problem. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to reflect on what researchers have learned over the years about strategies for preventing suicide.
We tend to assume that the tourists who abuse children are pedophiles, people with a clinical disorder and an exclusive sexual inclination for pre-pubescent children. We imagine them carefully planning their trips, with children front and centre. But the fact is, the majority of child sex tourists are in fact "situational offenders". They're presented with a situation where they can have sexual contact with a child, and they seize it. The anonymity of being a tourist or traveler often influences their decision, convincing them that they won't get caught.
Amanda Todd took her life in 2012 at the age of 15 after being relentlessly blackmailed by a ruthless predator. She deserved a more informed and effective police response than what was offered. She deserved to feel protected. So do all the Canadian kids who are being blackmailed or lured into performing sexual acts on webcam right now.
Noted Bay Street banker, Karlyn Percil teamed up with the Toronto Police for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, sharing her personal story of child abuse via a powerful public video. I recently spoke to Percil about the challenges she has faced, as well as her personal reasons for going public with her story.