Growing up, I was often taught to be silent. Conversations about issues like abuse and sexual violence always seemed to occur in hushed tones, and from this, I was taught that it was better to pretend and be perceived as strong than to bare your troubles and be considered broken. I became a very good actress, but as I got older, the hurt that I was struggling with due to experiences of domestic violence and rape became too much to endure.


I have since embarked on a long journey of unraveling my past, coming to terms with my present, and building a new future. Through it all, I have realized one, big thing: Hurt creates hurt. I have realized that those who hurt me were often struggling with their own demons, and although this does not excuse their actions, it has allowed me to make sense of situations that in many ways, seem senseless. 


We are not doing anyone any favours by treating abuse as an issue meant to stay behind closed doors. What we are doing, though, is creating a system that teaches victims to be ashamed and to not reach out for help. Our silence fosters a cycle of violence that more often than not, goes on for generations, and it’s time that this changed. 


Starts With Youth intends to address intergenerational trauma by raising awareness about abuse and neglect. I believe that change begins with open conversations about the impact of domestic maltreatment, and by increasing our knowledge about these issues, we, as a community, can better defend children and youth of today and tomorrow. 


Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog today. Whether you are a student eager to learn more, an adult searching for information about ways to support someone, or a victim of abuse yourself, I want to commend you for your willingness to understand more about the realities too many Canadian children and youth face. I hope that this blog gives you some tools to address abuse in your community, and if you are a survivor, I hope this is a reminder that your experiences are valid. You are seen, and you are not alone. Change is coming, and it starts with each and every one of you.