Every two hours in Australia, a child is sexually harmed, according to child protection advocacy group Bravehearts.
1 in 5 children in Australia will be sexually harmed in some way by their 18th birthday. That’s 59,000 Australian children each year.
“It is likely there is a child in everyone’s life, or the life of someone they know, who has been a victim of child sexual assault,” Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston said.
The group is highlighting this alarming statistic ahead of its 20th White Balloon Day.
“White Balloon Day is about encouraging people from all corners of the community to step up for these kids, raising awareness and funds to enable the continued delivery of vital support and prevention programs, while giving kids the confidence to come forward and break the silence,” she said.
Tips for Parents
Based on Bravehearts’ Ditto Keep safe Adventure program, the 5 basic principles we need to teach our children (remember: it’s never too early to sow the seeds of personal safety) are:
1) To trust their feelings and to distinguish between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ feelings
2) To say ‘no’ to adults if they feel unsafe and unsure
3) That they own their own bodies
4) That nothing is so yucky that they can’t tell someone about it
5) That if they feel unsafe or unsure to run and tell someone they trust.
We are all responsible to help change this statistic!
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