A survivor of childhood sexual abuse with a long road to healing, CCAA CEO & Founder, Ellen Campbell translated her own recovery into hope for others. She opened a recovery bookstore in downtown Toronto and developed a conference centre for adult survivors going through recovery. During her tenure as Executive Director for Starlight Children’s Foundation, where she served for twelve years, she founded the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness (Abuse Hurts) and in 1993 held the first National Conference for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse. That was to be the first of what would be three national conferences for adult survivors and over the following decade, Abuse Hurts also began designing programs for children.
Abuse Hurts is a national, charitable organization that has served Canadians since 1993.The Centre’s mandate is to significantly reduce the incidence and impact of abuse through education and public awareness. Abuse Hurts operates solely on private donations with no sustaining funds from any government body.
Abuse is defined as any action which intrudes painfully or harmfully into the physical, psychological or social well-being of another person.The Centre is a national leader in the development of programs to prevent abuse, in advocating for the rights of those who have been abused, and in the creation of survivor-friendly ways of helping abuse victims find healing.
Addressing the issues of adults who were sexually abused as children is perhaps the area for which the Centre is best known.In 1998, Abuse Hurts established the program to address sex scandal at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto and is still managing it today.
With help from community and corporate partners, the Centre also provides accessible support, healing and individual empowerment for adult survivors, their families and caregivers.
Abuse Hurts continues to raise awareness about the true cost of neglect and abuse and supports over 130 organizations nationally, including children’s services, victims services, shelters and other agencies that deal with over 200,000 children, women and men whose lives have been affected by abuse.
In addition to prevention programs, Abuse Hurts’ mandated mission is awareness, education, and advocacy. Round Table Discussions held throughout Ontario resulted in 60 recommendations to protect children that were made in a report called Martin’s Hope. The report, researched and written by John Muise, Abuse Hurts’ then full-time Public Safety Director, contains the Age of Consent legislation that passed in Canada in February 2008.
As CEO & Founder for the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness, the name Ellen Campbell has become synonymous with abuse prevention and recovery in Canada. In recognition of her work and the national influence achieved by Abuse Hurts, in December 2006, the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada appointed Ms. Campbell to The Minister’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Appointments for Ontario, a position that she continued to hold until 2010. Abuse Hurts is also a member of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) Violence in the Media Coalition through Ms. Campbell’s participation.