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Almost one-third of Canadian adults have experienced child abuse

First nationally representative study on child abuse and mental disorders in Canada

Almost one-third of adults in Canada have experienced child abuse – physical abuse, sexual abuse, or exposure to violence in their home (i.e., against a mother, father, or other adult). As well, child abuse is linked to mental disorders and suicidal ideation or suicide attempts, reports University of Manitoba professor Tracie Afifi in an article published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

“From a public health standpoint, these findings highlight the urgent need to make prevention of child abuse a priority in Canada,” writes Afifi, study lead and an associate professor in the departments of community health sciences and psychiatry. Her co-authors include Jitender Sareen, Tamara Taillieu, and Kristene Cheung from the University of Manitoba, and Harriet MacMillan and Michael Boyle from McMaster University.

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