Patricia Arango, Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre executive director, says the number of children seeking help is growing. (File photo by Advocate staff)

#MeToo movement doesn’t explain increase in child victims

Red Deer agency looking for answers

While the #MeToo movement encouraged more adults to come forward with sexual assault complaints, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre is trying to figure out why more children are also looking for help.

Statistic Canada’s report on police-reported sexual assaults in Canada before and after the #MeToo movement showed Alberta’s rate climbed seven per cent.

Nationally, the rate jumped 24 per cent after the #MeToo moment went viral in October 2017. Quebec saw the largest increase in reported sexual assaults at 61 per cent.

“Definitely, we’ve seen some increase, but I am still questioning why we have more kids,” said Patricia Arango, executive director of the centre.

She said #MeToo did increase the number of historical sexual assault cases.

“I believe the campaign has motivated more people to report. The kids coming are not historical. That is my concern, my question. There is something here we’re missing.”

She said for children under 12 who are being molested, 100 per cent of them are being assaulted in their own homes.

“Stranger danger is not working anymore.”

And there are just as many victims who are boys as there are girls, she said.

During July, August and September, the centre had 642 clients and 221, or 34 per cent, were children.

Arango said moving forward, the centre will continue to focus on its education programs, work to keep the conversation going, and remind the community that the centre is here to help.

The Statistics Canada study looked at sexual assaults reported to police that were subsequently deemed to be a criminal offence. It did not include all complaints, and the accusations have not necessarily led to criminal charges.

“This sharp increase in police-reported sexual assaults following the #MeToo movement does not necessarily reflect a rise in the prevalence of sexual assaults in Canada, but is likely attributable to a combination of factors, including an increased willingness of victims to report to police,” the study’s authors wrote.

Other factors include heightened awareness of what constitutes sexual assault, public messages from police forces urging victims to come forward, and changes in police practices when it comes to classifying sexual assaults as founded or unfounded.

With files from The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Stolen vehicle and gun seized in Blackfalds

Blackfalds man to appear in court

Blood moon over Red Deer

Moon captures attention

China grants Ivanka Trump 5 trademarks amid trade talks

SHANGHAI — The Chinese government has granted Ivanka Trump’s company preliminary approval… Continue reading

Few signs of breakthrough as May set to unveil Brexit Plan B

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May was set to unveil her new… Continue reading

Winter storm brings snow, rain, wind and cold to Eastern, Central Canada

A powerful winter storm that brought heavy rain and snow to much… Continue reading

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Olympian Adam van Koeverden wins federal Liberal nomination in Ontario riding

MILTON, Ont. — Former Olympic flag-bearer Adam van Koeverden will be carrying… Continue reading

World champion Osmond says it’s “really nice” not to know what future holds

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Kaetlyn Osmond has a world title, Olympic medals… Continue reading

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

Timberlake pops in on patients at Texas children’s hospital

DALLAS — Justin Timberlake has pulled some sunshine from his pocket for… Continue reading

UK police speak to Prince Philip about not wearing seatbelt

LONDON — British police have spoken with Prince Philip after the husband… Continue reading

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

Most Read