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 ballloon

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!

White Balloon Day is on September 9.

Share your comments below.

Image via Bravehearts

  • Shocking indeed ! Annd sad but necessary we have to make our kids aware and teach them these basics.


  • Doesn’t surprise me, absolutely disgusts me! My daughter was one of these statistics. Aged 15 on a school trip. Muslim gang organising rapes for mates. Yes, groups of these boys, heading out with the aim of raping white Australian girls. They see them as not even second class citizens. Age 15 and my daughter is scarred for life.

    • I feel deeply for your daughter and your family as it affects the whole of the family. I hope with time, the horror of this event will be controlled in some way so it does not destroy the rest of your lives.


  • What is wrong in our society? when 2 women are killed weekly, one in three women experience domestic violence, one in 5 children are sexually abused by the age of 18, it is hard to get the statistics on the domestic violence death rate on children. This is not taken into account of the people, mainly women and chilren that are permently damaged both mentally and physically. Australia, it is time to speak up, The Never Alone Campaign ( Rosie Battie) is a good place to start. By saying nothing, Australians, you are condoneing this behaviour by allowing it to happen. You can write to the polititions on mass, an e-mail for every member of parliament out lining these issues and your objections to the issues. Please help change happen. HELP GET SOME LAWS CHANGED.


  • Those statistics do shock Me
    I have never heard of white ballon


  • How do so many adults become abusers? What is going wrong?


  • We try to reinforce Hesse messages regularly.


  • You would not think it was 1 in 5,that is shocking!


  • Some kids will run away from home because of it. I heard about a school girl who was running away at night, breaking into and sleeping in a car in freezing cold weather. The owner of the car was pretty sure it was being broken into a night so he went out and checked it. He made her go to bed as she was and he slept on the couch until the next morning. He called a lady from the Salvation Army. The lady taked to her, then they took her to the Police Station. The father was gaoled for the offence and the girl was placed in foster care in a city area (not the country town she lived in) and settled in very well, went to a new school and did very well. The Mum was working at night due to financial problems. She had no idea what was going on.


  • One over five kids? I would have never imagined! :-(
    I’ve never heard of the “While Balloon Day” before.


  • I was unaware of white balloon day. A cause that I’d like to support. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


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