Marshall nails it with aware­ness cam­paign

The Enterprise-Bulletin (Collingwood) - - SPORTS - AN­DREW PHILIPS an­drew­philips@ live. ca

Sim­coe County War­den Gerry Marshall hasn’t de­cided yet whether to go with hot pink or a flashy red as he checks out nail- pol­ish shades.

But Marshall is urg­ing his male coun­ter­parts to par­tic­i­pate in a cam­paign de­signed to raise aware­ness about child abuse, as Oc­to­ber is Child Abuse Preven­tion Month.

He planned to paint one fin­ger­nail Mon­day and hoped “all area male mu­nic­i­pal politi­cians join me,” Marshall said.

Called the Pol­ished Man cam­paign, the paint­ing of one fin­ger­nail is de­signed to bring at­ten­tion to a trou­bling sub­ject.

“One in five chil­dren un­der the age of 18 will be abused across Canada,” Marshall said, not­ing the abuse could be emo­tional, phys­i­cal and/ or sex­ual.

The cam­paign be­gan in Aus­tralia as a con­ver­sa­tion starter about an­other dis­heart­en­ing statis­tic — “one child world­wide dies ev­ery five min­utes as a re­sult of vi­o­lence” — and fea­tures the tagline: “Nail it to end it.”

Provin­cially, the ini­tia­tive has re­ceived a big boost thanks to the ef­forts of Chil­dren and Youth Ser­vices Min­is­ter Michael Coteau.

Coteau, who painted his right in­dex fin­ger­nail red Mon­day, has a Twit­ter ac­count fea­tur­ing nu­mer­ous pho­tos of MPPs, Queen’s Park staff and other men who have taken up the chal­lenge and thrown on a lit­tle nail pol­ish.

There’s also an ac­com­pa­ny­ing video in which Coteau asks folks to take one fin­ger­nail and paint it some­time dur­ing Oc­to­ber.

“Raise aware­ness about the is­sue,” Coteau urges view­ers. “It rep­re­sents the one in five, and peo­ple will come up to you and ask, ‘ Why do you have one fin­ger­nail painted?’ And that’s the op­por­tu­nity to say, ‘ Hey, this is a se­ri­ous is­sue and, as men, we’re tak­ing a pos­i­tive on it and we’re rais­ing aware­ness.’”

Coteau said On­tar­i­ans should also con­sider do­nat­ing to and sup­port­ing their lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions that look at ways of com­bat­ing child abuse.

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