Educate Yourself

What is child abuse?

Child abuse can be anything from neglect to physical, emotional or sexual harm. Read below to learn about each kind of abuse, and what you can do to prevent it from happening.


Occurs when your parent or caregiver has the ability to provide for you, but doesn’t. It’s neglect if you’re not getting basic needs met like:

  • Food

  • Shelter

  • Sleep

  • Education

  • Safety

  • Clothing

  • Medical care

  • Supervision

What is "sexual" consent?

Consent is about enthusiastically agreeing to what you want to do, and about openly expressing what you don’t want to do.

You get consent by asking your partner(s) for permission to do something sexual.

You give consent by allowing your partner(s) to do something sexual.

If you try to be sexual with someone without their consent, you’re doing something that they haven’t agreed to, and that’s considered sexual assault or rape.

What do I do if I have the winter blues?

As the temperatures gets colder and the days get shorter, it’s common for people to lose energy. You may be struggling to get your tasks done and experience changes in your eating and sleeping habits.

If you’re not used to living in a cold climate, the winter can be especially hard to get through.

Why is this happening to me?

Your body has an internal clock, called your circadian rhythm, which depends on light to tell it when to sleep. During the winter, your circadian rhythm may get offbeat because there’s less sunlight, making you feel drowsy during the day.

Do I have to tell others I have HIV/AIDS?

Unless you are going to have sex with someone or share needles, you may or may not want to tell others about your HIV status. The choice should always be yours and based on what is best for you as long as your actions are not endangering others.

Deciding on when to disclose your condition to others (friends, parents/family members, partner, managers, schoolmates, or co-workers) can be very stressful and can cause feelings of anxiety and even regret. “Disclosure” means sharing your personal information or “revealing”(in this case) your positive status.

What is a Community Health Centre (CHC)?

A Community Health Centre (CHC) is a place where you can get free health care and social services.

You can find a clinical team of doctors, nurses and dieticians to help you. There are also social service workers. They will work with you to promote your overall health and get you settled in your community.

If you do not have OHIP (the Ontario Health Insurance Plan), some CHCs can still help you. All services are confidential. You can also get a pregnancy or HIV/AIDS test without having your name recorded.

What is Physical Abuse?

Physical abusers use violence to get control over others. Abusers make excuses like: “I was upset/having a bad day”, or “you deserved it”.

The scariest part of physical abuse is that you can get extremely hurt. You can also be in lots of danger. At worst, it can lead to death. If you think you are in immediate danger, you should go somewhere you feel safe, and/or contact the police.

What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is when someone plays with your emotions to make you feel bad about yourself, or your relationship with them. Emotional abuse will make you feel terrible in the long-term. If you are being emotionally abused, you might be feeling depressed, anxious, feel like hurting yourself, or hurting others.

You might have a hard time standing up to your abusers because they are most likely close to you. In many cases, it is only people who are close to you who can make you feel bad emotionally.