The Manitoba government is taking aim at child abuse, announcing 2.1 million dollars for a new investigative unit to tackle the problem.
Premier Heather Stefanson says the provincewide, integrated child response unit will build on services offered by the Toba Centre for Children and Youth in collaboration with the Winnipeg Police Service and RCMP.
The money is also aimed at helping victims and families find the supports they need after a crime.
"A big part of what we're doing at Toba is developing a whole new child abuse response system where we [police and CFS] are far more connected to one another so it doesn't have to be as challenging," says Christy Dzikowicz, the Executive Director of Toba Centre for Children and Youth in Winnipeg.
Toba Centre opened in 2013 and has qualified forensic interviewers to help children who have been abused, and the new unit will be housed there.
"It's difficult for people to comprehend the scope of the problem," says Dzikowicz. "It's a significant one. In Manitoba alone, we have about 4,000 child abuse investigations a year. We know there are at least that many more that go unreported for a whole host of reasons."
The Winnipeg Jets have also stepped up in their support of the Toba Centre in hopes of shedding light on the subject. Adam Lowry is an ambassador, providing a voice of encouragement for kids who have been abused.
With some files from The Canadian Press.