Canada: Alberta sees another record year of child abuse cases; 22% rise in 2018 - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaAlberta sees another record year of child abuse cases; 22% rise in 2018

22:41  29 january  2019
22:41  29 january  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Alberta sees another record year of child abuse cases; 22% rise in 2018© Global News Zebra Child Protection Centre.

Every year the caseload at the Zebra Child Protection Unit goes up and 2018 was no exception. Staff took on 834 child abuse cases last year — an increase of 22 per cent over 2017.

Most of those cases dealt with child sexual abuse.

Cheryl Diebel, chief executive officer of the Zebra centre, said while the numbers are alarming, it doesn't necessarily mean there was more child abuse in Alberta.

READ MORE: For child abuse survivors, it can be tough to overcome trauma. Here are ways to cope

"We think it's linked to the fact that we're out in the public more often," said Diebel.

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"People are more aware of the signs of abuse and also more aware of where to call if they have issues."

Diebel said most of the child abuse referrals come from RCMP, Edmonton police, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Children's Services.

The Zebra centre is a safe place for abused children to tell their stories. It provides supports to children from Edmonton and communities north of Red Deer.

READ MORE: Increase in Alberta child sex assault cases leads to more specialized training for RCMP officers

Specialized forensic interviewers meet with children so they only have to tell their story once.

Last year, more caregivers were also provided support through the investigation and court process.

READ MORE: Zebra Child Protection Centre welcomes 3rd support dog

Despite the progress in people reporting child abuse, Diebel wants everyone to know it is their duty.

"We want to ensure that people understand their need to report child abuse if they suspect it," said Diebel.

If you suspect child abuse, please contact any of the following:

Edmonton Police Service Complaint Line: 780-423-4567

Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-387-5437 (KIDS)

Crime Stoppers: 1-800-222-8477

Online Exploitation: cybertip.ca

Or your local police/RCMP detachment

If a child is in immediate danger, please dial 911.

London man charged with sexually abusing baby daughter: police.
The 38-year-old man isn't being identified to protect the identity of the victim.

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