Purple pumpkins a reminder  of child abuse prevention

By Darren Lum

Looking around the Village of Haliburton you’ll notice purple pumpkins included with fall displays this month.

It’s part of the lead up to the provincial Dress Purple Day on Oct. 24 which is part of an annual campaign held every October by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies to raise awareness about how to identify and help prevent child abuse.

A series of events will be held this month by the Kawartha Haliburton Children’s Aid Society to celebrate and promote Dress Purple Day.

“On Oct. 24 communities across Ontario will dress purple to show their commitment to children’s rights to safety and well-being. On Dress Purple Day we acknowledge that it takes a village to keep kids safe. Everybody in the community plays a role in supporting children’s rights” KHCAS direct service supervisor Sandra Woods wrote in an email.

KHCAS “has engagement with the Trillium Lakelands School Board day care centres and other service partners. They will be dressing in purple to help raise awareness” she said.

Locally Haliburton Highlands Secondary School will promote Dress Purple Day on their electronic board in front of the building and will welcome KHCAS on Oct. 24 to provide information and raise awareness.

“One of the campaign’s key goals is to educate communities and key partners about how calling a Children’s Aid Society is one of the most effective ways to prevent child abuse. As part of this campaign OACAS and member CASs work closely with school boards schools and community partners on a provincial Dress Purple Day” Woods said.

She adds the “Children’s Aid Societies help to protect children and youth who are at risk of or are experiencing abuse or neglect. They also provide assistance to families who may need additional supports.”

The community is encouraged to participate by posting to social media using the hashtag #IBREAKtheSilence post a Dress Purple Day poster in the workplace (found at oacas.org) use the web banner on your workplace website create Dress Purple Day e-signatures and dress in purple on Oct. 24.

Woods suggested looking at www.khcas.on.ca or www.oacas.org to learn about recognizing the signs of child abuse or neglect and how to report concerns.