Awareness

Every child deserves to be protected from all forms of violence and to grow up in a safe and nurturing home.

Child abuse is any behaviour that harms a child (under the age of 18). It can take many forms, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as neglect and exploitation. Everyone in the community, including all levels of government, plays a role in protecting children. Public awareness is part of an overall approach to preventing child abuse and neglect.

At the Miles for Smiles Foundation we raise awareness about the important role that individuals and communities play in supporting vulnerable children, youth, and families throughout the province.

We began advocating for survivors in 2011 with the implementation of the province’s first peer support group for adult survivors of child abuse. Two years later Miles for Smiles Foundation was registered as a non- profit organization with a focus on support, awareness and prevention of child abuse.

Watch us Grow

We have raised awareness provincially, as well as internationally. Following is a list of some of our endeavors:

2011

    • In June, we opened the province’s first chapter of ASCA, a peer support group for  Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, in St. John’s, NL.

2013

    • The first Miles for Smiles child abuse awareness walk was held at Bowring Park in St. John’s on April 21st and had over 400 participants.
    • The City of St. John’s proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

2013 – 2019

    • Frontline Action and Miles for Smiles developed a fundraising partnership to present a Halloween Haunted House during the month of October.

2014

    • Miles for Smiles partnered with Survivors Supporting Survivors to bring the legendary Johnny Bower to Newfoundland and Labrador for a weekend fundraising event.
    • Local businesses, organizations and residents took part in the first Miles for Smiles Wear Blue Day to support child abuse awareness.

2015

    • Bev Moore Davis (Miles for Smiles Foundation, Founder) traveled to Tucson, Arizona, for training in child sexual abuse prevention.
    • Miles for Smiles partnered with Men of Hope to bring Graham Wardle, from CBC’s Heartland, to St. John’s for the third annual Miles for Smiles walk in Bowring Park.
    • The 2016 graduating class of Memorial University Social Workers partnered with Miles for Smiles to introduce the first Blue Ribbon Campaign at Confederation Building.
    • Bev Moore Davis (NL) and Andy Bhatti (BC) biked 903 kms from Port de Basques to St. John’s to raise funds for Thrive CYN (St. John’s, NL) and Sophie’s Place (Surrey, BC).
    • Shannon Tweed Simmons and her sister Sara Simmons traveled to St. John’s to participate in a local  fundraising event organized by Bev and Andy after the bike ride.

2016

    • Miles For Smiles Foundation was instrumental in having April proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month in St. John’s, NL; Halifax, NS; Fredericton, NB; Victoria, BC; Regina, Saskatchewan; St. Alberts, Alberta; Yellowknife and Iqaluit.
    • While working with government officials, April was also provincially proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month in 2016, for the first time in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

2017

    • While celebrating the 5th annual awareness walks in St. John’s, other Miles for Smiles walks were held in Marystown, Gander, Georgetown – Marysvale, Halifax, NS and Augusta, Maine.

2018

    • Bev partnered with the RNC police chief, Joe Boland, several police officers, and pediatricians from the Janeway hospital to begin the process of advocating for a body safety, educational program to be implemented in all schools in Newfoundland and Labrador.

2020

    • As Covid-19 prevented the usual awareness walks from going ahead, Bev and Tom (Bev’s husband) delivered plenty of smiles with the Easter Bunny hopping from one street to another to see groups of children waiting by the side of the road. As Easter approached, appearances were scheduled from South River to Torbay, and many stops in between.

2021

    • ​In December, the Department of Education announced it would begin a pilot project to start a body safety education program in Newfoundland and Labrador. The program, Kids in the Know, deals with child abuse, sexual exploitation, cyber-bullying, and the overall wellness of children.

2022

    • Easter Bunny made visits to St. John’s, Paradise, and Conception Bay South this year while visiting local children and businesses.
    • In a statement to CBC News, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) said Moore-Davis and former RNC chief Joe Boland were instrumental in getting the program to Newfoundland and Labrador. The NLESD met with Moore-Davis and Boland in 2018 as both were advocating for Kids in the Know to be mandated for all schools.
    • Miles for Smiles Foundation moved its awareness campaign and strategies from April to October in an attempt to consolidate efforts with other Canadian provinces and increase national coverage.