May 8, 2014 11:40 am

Experts gather at Calgary forum with aim of ending child sexual abuse

CALGARY – Both local and national experts are attending a forum in Calgary on Thursday hoping to find solutions to end the sexual abuse of children.

The forum at the University of Calgary will help shape Alberta’s first sexual violence prevention framework.

Alberta Human Services Minister Manmeet Bhullar and Justice Minister Jonathan Denis will be in attendance, as well as Sheldon Kennedy and other representatives from Alberta’s child advocacy centres.

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“Child victims need the best care that we as a society can give them,” explains Kennedy. “All sectors, from child and family services, to justice and health care – all need to be involved and coordinated.”

READ MORE: Province provides more support for victimized children through new grant

Officials say the conference will focus on issues related to the rural response, the justice system response and child sexual abuse in ethno-cultural communities.

“Child sexual abuse continues to be a difficult topic to talk about and often goes underreported,” explains Bhullar. “It’s imperative we start creating a dialogue and change the culture of fear and shame that can prevent victims from seeking help.

 “As a society, we must all work together and strive to end the exploitation of vulnerable children,” says Bhullar.

You can watch the conference live online from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 8th.

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