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On November 6, an influential feature documentary, Swift Current, will debut in Toronto at the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival

Posted by on November 04, 2015

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Documentary Film, Swift Current, to play an integral role in the work of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre

Film integral to advancing the Centre’s work in trauma-informed education and an integrated practice with child abuse and trauma

FACT: More than one in three children and youth assessed at the Centre struggle with mental health, suicide, self-harm and substance abuse issues

The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre is transforming how current systems respond to the issue of child abuse and trauma, and is pioneering efforts to educate the community about the impacts of abuse and trauma. Child abuse is a prominent issue in Canada that warrants public awareness and requires the attention of those who can impact change.

On November 6, an influential feature documentary, Swift Current, will debut in Toronto at the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival (RWM). RWM investigates the facts and mythologies surrounding child abuse, mental health issues and addiction presented by both Canadian and international filmmakers.  

Swift Current, directed by Joshua Rofé, acts as a tool to bring the issue of child abuse, and how to address it, to the forefront of a national stage. The film tells the narrative of Sheldon Kennedy and his gut-wrenching story of sexual abuse at the hands of his Western Hockey League (WHL) coach, Graham James, the sexual predator whose behaviour was ignored through two Western League coaching stints and one in Europe. The film also profiles two young people whose experiences lead them to connect with Sheldon and his message.

 

The film will be used by the Centre to teach front-line service providers, policy-makers and organizational leaders across disciplines about child abuse and trauma, and the impact on brain development and how this information advances integrated practice to support healing and recovery.

Sheldon, now an Order of Canada recipient, has become an inspiration and advocate to millions of child abuse survivors around the world. He is a committed, outspoken child advocate with a mission to shed light on the hard issues, while uniting the public in an effort to influence positive change around child protection.

This film provides an opportunity to bring solution-focused conversations to the national level. The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre is very proud of Sheldon for his leadership and courageous tenacity. The Centre is honoured to have him not only on its Board as the Lead Director, but as the namesake of the Centre.

The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre brings together people and organizations who are making a profound difference in how the issue of child abuse is discussed; setting new standards for leading practice; supporting children, youth and families impacted by abuse; and rallying people and communities to prevent abuse.

The Centre thanks you for your generous and continued support.

Who the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre serves:

  • The children and youth served by the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre are those who have experienced sexual abuse reported to police and severe and complex physical abuse and neglect. In its first 28 months of operations (April 1, 2013 to July 31, 2015), 3,455 infants, children and youth have been assessed though the Centre. On average, 123 children and youth are assessed per month at the Centre.
  • Of cases assessed at the Centre, 97% of the children are abused by someone they know.
  • Of the children assessed at the Centre, 65% are girls, and 35% are boys. 65% are under the age of 12.
  • More than 1/3 of all children and youth (birth to 18 years) assessed at the Centre struggle with suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, self-harm, mental health, aggressive behaviour or sexualized behaviours.
  • Three out of five children and youth were connected with families who struggle with substance abuse, parental mental health, domestic violence and other challenges at the time of initial assessment.
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