The City of Winnipeg is launching a child-abuse public-awareness campaign in conjunction with efforts to better educate city staff at pools, libraries and recreational facilities. (City of Winnipeg)
The City of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada is further training staff at pools, libraries and recreational facilities to watch out for signs of child sexual abuse.
Since the fall, the city has been working with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to develop a new program aimed at combating the sexual abuse of children.
It has resulted in risk assessments of city facilities, new protocols for reporting incidents of suspected child sexual abuse and modernized staff training that will start at city pools and aquatic centres. It will be extended to libraries and recreational facilities later this year.
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said the program is partly in response to changes in technology.
"The manner in which images are disseminated, as I`ve learned from the Centre for Child Protection, have been changing, not for the better in recent years," Bowman told reporters Tuesday at the Pan Am Pool.
The city is also launching a public-education campaign that urges visitors to city facilities to report instances of inappropriate behaviour or suspected sexual abuse.
Surreptitious recordings of children in public places sparked this initiative, said Signy Arnason, director of cybertip.ca and the associate executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
"We have to keep in mind for the offending community, children don't have to be nude for them to be aroused by these types of shots," Arnason said.
Indeed, for a certain demographic, any female body that is not made invisible by clothing is provocative. This is the first program of its kind that I am aware of in Canada. The need for it spells out the effect of immigration from Muslim societies which prefer to keep women invisible. I hope it spreads to all urban centres. It is a limited response to child sex abuse, but, at least it's a response.