Facility to provide support for victims of child abuse

CALGARY — Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy knows the pain and fear a child can suffer when sexually abused by someone in a position of trust.

CALGARY — Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy knows the pain and fear a child can suffer when sexually abused by someone in a position of trust.

He was the first to come forward in the 1990’s to tell the world how he was abused as a teenager by former coach and mentor Graham James. Now an advocate, Kennedy proudly announced Friday a new one-stop facility in Calgary aimed at helping young victims get their lives back together.

“I couldn’t help thinking as I attended the sentencing hearing for Graham James recently how difficult it would be to have to face both our court system and the abuser, as a child,” Kennedy said.

“I am confident that the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre will eliminate the revictimization of our children and their families and increase the accountability of perpetrators.”

The centre melds four agencies — Child and Family Services, Crown Prosecutors, Calgary Police and Alberta Health Services — under one roof.

The idea is to help young victims and their families with a team of social workers, medical experts, therapists, and police.

“The agencies wrap around the child. The child doesn’t have to navigate a bunch of systems and a bunch of buildings,” said Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson.

“The partnership with health services and social services makes sure that those kids and their families get not only the crisis counselling, but the ongoing counselling to help develop through the rest of their lives so they don’t have to deal with the trauma and the victimization that was forced on them by no fault of their own.”

The city estimates about 10,000 children in Calgary are abused each year.

Kennedy said it has finally gotten to the point that the pain of sexual abuse victims is recognized.

Hanson said he wants children who leave the centre to be able to put the dark period of their lives behind them.

“The real magic in this centre is not just limited to how we deal with victims when they’re victimized but how we deal with them over the course of their developing years,” he said.

“It’s so that when they come out of this as adults they don’t have to carry that horror with them, that it’s behind them locked up in a box somewhere, properly dealt with so that they are productive, healthy, caring members of society.”

Just Posted

Red Deer record store celebrates its last Record Store Day

The Soundhouse, a guitar and record shop in downtown Red Deer, closes its doors next Saturday

WATCH: On 4—20 Day in Red Deer, marijuana users say legal weed a long time coming

Not wanting to wait for the federal government to legalize recreational marijuana,… Continue reading

Former Central Alberta MLA appealing fine for not protecting a list of 20,000 electors

List included names and addresses of voters in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre

Proposed Alberta legislation would protect consumers

Alberta Utilities Commission would be given power to penalize natural gas and electricity providers

Red Deer beginning two major construction projects

Ross Street’s 1935-era water main to be replaced and 67th Street roundabout landscaped

WATCH: Central Alberta bouldering competition

Central Alberta climbers looked to prove they’re the best at a competition… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer RCMP and Emergency Services play for Humboldt

Red Deer police officers and firefighters laced up their skates to raise… Continue reading

WATCH: Flooding closes portion of Red Deer’s 43 Street

A portion of 43 Street in Red Deer was closed Saturday morning… Continue reading

After air accidents, survivors grapple with flying again

Hundreds of hands grappling with oxygen masks. Flight attendants warning passengers to… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth to attend pop concert for 92nd birthday

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth is marking her 92nd birthday with a Saturday… Continue reading

‘Such a great person:’ Funeral being held for assistant coach with Broncos

STRASBOURG, Sask. — Mark Cross was a ferocious competitor when he played… Continue reading

UPDATE: Missing Innisfail woman located

A 54-year-old Innisfail woman, who had not been seen since Wednesday, has… Continue reading

Hellebuyck makes 30 saves, Jets beat Wild in Game 5 to advance to Round 2

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little’s teammates were happy they could deliver something special… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month