Child ad­vo­cate needs cham­pion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

As a vic­tim of sex­ual child abuse at age 12, I am com­pelled to ask our me­dia why we have not asked vic­tims how they feel about Prince Ed­ward Is­land be­ing the only prov­ince in Canada with­out a child ad­vo­cate of­fice.

We are all guar­an­teed the same rights un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion, no mat­ter where we live. I have been an ad­vo­cate for over 25 years and I have asked hun­dreds of times to have an in­de­pen­dent of­fice for child ad­vo­cacy here on P.E.I. as soon as pos­si­ble so that the vic­tims of abuse can work prop­erly on re­cov­ery is­sues that need to be dealt with or they will not even be­gin to start to seek good ther­apy and/or re­cov­ery pro­grams.

Many peo­ple have of­fered to help set up this of­fice here and are hop­ing to hear from Is­landers soon.

I ask Is­landers to email or call the prime min­is­ter, premier, your MLAs and MPs and see how soon we can help the thou­sands of Is­land chil­dren who were or are be­ing abused.

I have talked to many peo­ple about why we need this of­fice and have been told “there just is not enough money to do it now . . . for over 25 years.”

It is very dis­heart­en­ing to see a vic­tim of sex­ual child abuse be told there is lit­tle or no help.

Ex­perts say that 1 in 3 chil­dren are sex­u­ally abused by age 16. P.E.I. vic­tims de­serve the same rights as the rest of Canada.

Mike Avery,

Fort Au­gus­tus

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