Operational Plan

The Need - Graphics and Charts

According to the Statistics Canada report on family violence in Canada for 20091, police reported almost 55,000 children and youth (0 to 17 years old) were victims of a physical or sexual assault.    

CPS Response

The CPS Child Abuse Unit and Child At Risk Response Team (CARRT) are responsible for investigating incidents of child abuse involving victims under the age of 14 years.  While the two areas are dedicated to serving the same victim age group, the type of work being conducted is different.  The Child Abuse Unit investigates sexual assaults and severe physical assaults.  CARRT conducts less severe investigations of child abuse (spanking, pushing, slapping) and work with partner agencies in conducting apprehensions, warrants, assists to all partner agency field personnel, standbys to support victims, transport of children and checks on welfare of families and children. 

CPS Child At Risk Response Team and Calgary and Area Child and Family Services Authority

CARRT, which operates in close partnership with CFSA (Calgary and Area Child and Family Services Authority) responds to calls for service involving children under 14 years of age who are at risk of emotional and physical abuse and neglect.

Calls for Service include:  Apprehensions, warrants, investigations, assists/standbys/transports and check-ups.

Source: CPS Child Abuse Unit, September 2011

Undoubtedly, the partnership between the CPS and the CFSA will bring additional cases of child abuse to the CAC.  Not only does CFSA work with the CPS in the investigation of child abuse allegations that are criminal in nature, they also provide intervention services when a child’s survival, security or development is endangered.  This includes both physical and sexual abuse and emotional injury and neglect.  The CFSA mandate is broader than the police mandate and their statistics are indicative of that.

CFSA Statistics        
  2008/09* 2009/10 2010/11 Apr-July
Emotional Abuse 3,317 3,506 4,237 1,470
Guardian Unable To Provide Care 2,523 2,418 2,446 938
Other (abandonment & guardian deceased) 101 123 107 39
Physical Abuse 2,044 2,441 2,542 882
Sexual Abuse 505 427 520 158
Total Cases Investigated 8,490 8,915 9,852 3,487
*CFSA Statistics are compiled by fiscal year end (April 1 to March 31 of the following year)

CPS Child Abuse Unit

The CPS Child Abuse Unit is involved with:  

Source: 2006-2008 (CPS Annual Statistical Report Statistical Summary); 2009-2010 ( CPS Livelink Child Abuse Unit Log)

In 2010, there were a total of 254 child abuse investigations.  Of these cases, almost 15% (39 cases) were physical assault and 85% (215) were sexual assault.

Source:  CPS Livelink Child Abuse Unit Log, September 2011

Other CPS Units

The CPS Sex Crimes Unit and other Units investigate sexual assaults involving victims between the ages of 14-17.  In 2009, these Units conducted 123 investigations compared with 129 in 2010 (an increase of 4.9%).

Source: CPS Livelink and Police Information Management System (PIMS), September 2011

Based upon five year averages, there is potential for CPS Units within the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre to conduct approximately 250 investigations involving children under the age of 14 years.  Given that the CAC mandate is from 0 – 17 years of age, the number of investigations will increase.

The Victims

In general, police-reported data used by Statistics Canada for 2009 indicates that  children and youth under the age of 18 were most likely to be sexually victimized or physically assaulted by someone they knew (85% of incidents).2

Child and youth victims (0 to 17 years) of police-reported sexual offences and physical assault by family members, by sex and accused-victim relationship, Canada, 20093

Although these statistics involve victims from 0-17 years of age, there is some consistency with the findings locally for sexual assault of children under 14 years old. In Calgary during 2010, approximately 80% of the sexual assaults of children under 14 years of age were intrafamilial. “Intrafamilial” sexual abuse means sexual abuse that occurs within the family. In this form of abuse, a family member involves a child in (or exposes a child to) sexual behaviors or activities. The "family member" may not be a blood relative, but could be someone who is considered "part of the family," such as a godparent or very close friend.”4

Source: CPS Child Abuse Unit, September 2011

In general, females are most often victims of sexual assault. In Calgary, in 2010 approximately 76% of sexual assault victims under the age of 14 were female.

Source: CPS Child Abuse Unit, September 2011

According to the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS), “children who are sexually abused may experience disruptions in their development. These disruptions can result in significant emotional and behavioural changes as they find ways to cope. Their sense of personal integrity, safety and security is violated...and they may experience shame and guilt.” 5

In most cases, the affects of sexual abuse continue into adulthood.  Adolescent and adult women sexually molested as children are more likely than non-victims to suffer from both physical and psychological problems.  Some research indicates that women who have a history of child sexual abuse are also significantly more likely than non-victims to experience a subsequent sexual revictimization.”6

Abused children turn into angry adults. The CAC will provide wrap-around services where specially trained professionals work with child victims on complex issues stemming from their abuse such as shame, embarrassment, safety and self-esteem.

This will not only stop the cycle of abuse, it will prevent further victimization, reduce crime down the road, and will make stronger children and stronger communities.

1 Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile. Published by authority of the Minister responsible for Statistics Canada. © Minister of Industry, January 2011. Catalogue no. 85-224-X. ISSN 1480-7165
4The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN); Caring for Kids: Coping with the Shock of Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse, April 2009
5 Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Child and Youth: A Fact Sheet from the Department of Justice Canada. 2005, pg. 6.
6 Ibid