• The Issue



Difficult to talk about. Ugly to think about. Impossible to imagine.


But it is happening. It happens everyday.

And it's happening here, in our community.

Child Abuse

Any form of physical, emotional and/or sexual mistreatment or lack of care (neglect) that causes injury or emotional damage to a child or youth.



Emotional abuse is an attack on the child’s self-concept and self-worth.

It is a pattern of ongoing behaviour by the parent or guardian that seriously interferes with the healthy development or the mental or emotional functioning of the child.

Emotional abuse often happens along with other forms of abuse, such as neglect or physical abuse.


Physical abuse is any act causing trauma or injury to a child’s body. It is the most visible form of child abuse and can happen once or many times.

These injuries are often the result of unreasonable, severe corporal punishment of a child.

Physical abuse is a pattern. If it remains, the pattern often increases in severity.



Sexual abuse is the inappropriate exposure or subjection of a child to sexual contact, activity, or behaviour by a parent or guardian.

Sexual abuse can include “non-touching” activities and sexual exploitation.

In Alberta, prostitution of children and youth under 18 is considered sexual abuse, and survivors are protected by legislation.


Neglect is failing to provide age-appropriate basic care such as food, clothing, shelter, love and affection, medical and dental care, education, and protection from harm.

If the parent or guardian cannot or will not provide these things to a child, it is neglect.

While neglect is not always obvious, a pattern of ongoing neglect or inadequate care can often be seen.


We need to do better

The impacts of child abuse are devastating and long lasting. These impacts lie at the root of so many issues impacting our community every day. Mental Health, Addiction, Homelessness, when you peel back the layers, when you dig deep enough, so often, there it is... Child Abuse.


Every community has a responsibility to give the gift of a Child Advocacy Centre to the vulnerable children of their community.

Barb Spencer, Former CEO

Zebra Child Protection Centre