Of Mason Jars that light the path

There is a personal significance to me with Mason Jars, those closest to me know the meaning behind reclaiming the Mason Jar and so they understand why it’s important in my life. Mason Jars have also become lanterns in my life that have a symbolism which revolves around their purpose. They are a vessel for light and are used to light one’s way out of darkness. They used to find one’s path and in a way, a lantern is a guide. So many people have been a lantern for me at some point over the last few years and they continue to stand beside me because they believe that change must happen for children and youth who have been abused. Statistically speaking, 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime and it is estimated that only 6 out of every 100 assaults are reported to the police. 60% of victims are under the age of 17 and 80% of these assaults happen within their own homes. 80% is also the number of sexual assailants that are friends or family members of the victims. The conviction rate for SA in Canada is 0.03%, which means that out of every 1000 SA, 997 assailants walk free. These statistics are almost all related to adult survivors, survivors of violence who have access to services in our community, survivors who have the ability to speak out about their experiences and ask for support and advocacy. Children are most often denied this simply because they are minors - on top of being unable to reach out to various agencies due to their age, there are publication bans and sealed files that deny their right to use their voice. With sensitivity and awareness, Change For FIN will be that voice for them in the best and safest way possible. CFF is committed to changing the way child abuse allegations are investigated and prosecuted in our community and we will advocate for the rights of child survivors of violence. Our CYAC will guide survivors and non-offending caregivers through the criminal investigation and legal prosecution and offer experienced support to ensure that abusers are charged and convicted and serve appropriate sentences. The current legal system is daunting, terrifying and offend unsuccessful for child victims. There exists no cohesive plan or standard operating procedure for managing these types of cases as they work their way through our system. As a result, we are failing. We are failing to get perpetrators off of the street and we are failing families. They deserve better. Children and youth who have been abused deserve better care and greater sensitivity and we are striving to provide this for them. Change For FIN will be their lantern along this very dark path because it is the very least we can do.

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