For Immediate Release
March 28, 2012
2500 Teatree Tells child sexual abuse prevention kits distributed free of charge
Winnipeg, MB: The Canadian Centre for Child Protection and Bell Canada are helping nursery schools across Canada take steps towards making their environments safer for the children in their care. With support from Bell, the Canadian Centre distributed 2,500 copies of its Teatree Tells: A Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Kit to nursery schools, and will provide more free programs to the first 100 Canadian child-serving organizations that email the Canadian Centre.
The Teatree Tells program is designed to teach early childhood educators how to address the sensitive subject of child sexual abuse with families and children. It includes a parent guide on child sexual abuse and disclosure; two teacher guides with lessons and activities for nursery, kindergarten and grade one children; as well as three posters, a storybook and a puppet for use in the classroom.
“Early childhood educators have the unique opportunity to assist in the prevention of child sexual abuse,” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “Educators are in daily contact with children and their parents, giving them the opportunity to develop close relationships with caregivers and children, and the opportunity to recognize and respond to early warning signs.”
The Teatree Tells: A Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Kit was developed in response to a 2009 research report by Cybertip.ca titled Child Sexual Abuse Images: An analysis of websites by Cybertip.ca. Owned and operated by the Canadian Centre, Cybertip.ca is Canada's national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children. The research contained in the report was based on Cybertip.ca's examination of nearly 16,000 incidents involving sites hosting child pornography and the analysis of more than 4,000 unique images of child sexual abuse. More than 82 per cent of the images assessed by Cybertip.ca depicted very young, pre-pubescent children.
“What these statistics demonstrate is the importance of teaching young children, especially preschool children, to recognize if boundaries are being broken and what to do if things just don’t feel right. Research shows that offenders are less likely to target a child if they present a risk of telling,” added McDonald. “The recent arrests in Ontario show just how widespread child pornography is, and underscores the importance of educating Canadian parents and those who work with children on this serious issue.”
The Teatree Tells program includes lessons and activities about identifying a safe adult, labeling feelings and naming body parts, appropriate and inappropriate touching, and boundaries – designed to interrupt the process of child sexual abuse and increase the likelihood of a child victim disclosing sexual abuse. To date, more than 12,500 Teatree Tells kits have been distributed free-of-charge to child-serving organizations across Canada.
To receive one of the 100 free copies of the Teatree Tells: A Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Kit, interested organizations are asked to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Teatree Tells Contest. The first 100 organizations who email the Canadian Centre will be eligible to receive a free kit. For more information about the Teatree Tells program and contest rules, visit: teatreetells.ca.
If you are a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact our communications team:
Communications, Canadian Centre for Child Protection