#Children's Rights

The Child, Family, and Community Service Act, outlines when the government deems a child to be in need of protection, triggering government intervention. Section 13 which relates to emotional abuse, requires that the child already be displaying one or various behaviours: anxiety, depression, withdrawal, self-destructive, etc. It also specifies that the behaviour must be to a "severe" degree. This results in children needing to be emotionally scarred, before they can get protection. If you compared this to the other sections relating to other types of abuse, the wording does not require the child to be harmed. The language even considers protection to be needed if abuse such as physical, neglect and sexual abuse is only likely to have happened. This not only underplays the long terms effect of emotional abuses that stays with the children for the rest of their lives, but also ignores all of the emotional abuse the child has suffered up to the point that sufficient harm has been done.

By signing this, you will be asking the B.C.'s provincial government to amend sections 13(1)(e) and 13(2)of the Child Family and Community Service Act. Section 13(1)(e) should be changed to be more similar the 13(1)(a) (physical abuse) which doesn't require the child to be harm, for protection to be deemed needed. The circumstances when protection from emotional abuse should be the same as physical abuse. The language of 13(1)(e) should consider protection to be needed when the child "has been or is likely to be, by the parent's conduct or domestic violence by or towards someone the child resides with."

Edit: Essentially protection should be considered needed, when the child already exhibits some of the behaviours to a moderate to high degree, and is likely to benefit from intervention. If both of these can be proven, the law should allow protection to be deemed needed and action should be taken.

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The Stop B.C. law from requiring children to be emotionally harmed before getting protection petition to 150 was written by Jarrod Siew-Oja and is in the category Children's Rights at GoPetition.