MPP Rick Nicholls looks to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month. (Photo Courtesy of Rick Nicholl's office).

MPPs Become ‘Polished Men’

Some of the province’s leaders are starting a conversation about preventing child abuse, with one finger nail.

With October being noted as Child Abuse Prevention Month, Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth Services MPP Michael Coteau has brought a campaign to Queen’s Park — which takes place around the world — to raise awareness on the issue.

“This October, [Coteau] will be painting his nails to participate in Polished Men, a campaign that encourages men to paint one of their five nails with nail polish to represent the one in five kids who are subject to physical or sexual violence before the age of 18,” as stated in a press release from Coteau’s office. “While both men and women are perpetrators of violence against children, close to 90% of all violence against children is perpetrated by men.”

Somone participating in the campaign is Chatham-Kent Essex MPP Rick Nicholls.

“If I get stopped and [asked] ‘Why do you have one of your finger nails painted red?’ It gives me the opportunity to explain to them that child abuse is wrong, [and] we need to prevent it,” he says.

Nicholls adds that the topic of child abuse isn’t always a topic of discussion or recognized as something that can take shape in a physical, mental, or emotional form.

“We need to be very aware of the fact that child abuse is alive — not well I might add,” he says. “It is very much a thing in our society right now that needs to be stopped.”

Those participating in the campaign are asked to keep the nail polish on until October 6. The hashtag “#PolishedMen” is making it’s way through social media.