National Child Protection Week 3 – 8 September 2018
This week all people who call Australia home need to know its National Child Protection Week.
The term child abuse includes, but is not limited to:
- Physical abuse: non-accidental aggressive act towards a child including slapping, shaking, punching, kicking etc.
- Psychological abuse: includes rejecting, ignoring, terrorising and/or not providing emotional support and care.
- Sexual abuse: any sexual activity between a child and an adult or older person (5 or more years older). Includes fondling, oral or anal and vaginal penetration, exposing or involving a child in pornography, voyeurism etc.
- Neglect: failure to provide for a child’s basic needs, including not enough food, shelter, clothing, supervision, medical attention etc.
- Children’s exposure to Family Violence: a child being present, either hearing or seeing, while a parent or sibling is subjected to physical, sexual or psychological abuse or is exposed to damage caused by the abuser.
A historical fact: Did you know that organisations against the prevention of cruelty against animals was established in the early 1800’s. Did you also know that a lawyer used that evidence to prosecute an abuser, arguing at the time that animals have more rights than children, and it was time that children were treated with the same respect as we legislated for animals. The Judge agreed, and legislation was introduced to protect children. Unfortunately, child (and animal abuse) did not end in the 19th Century and to the shame and embarrassment of our “civilised world” continues today.
If a child reports abuse to you, act on it. Historically adults have traditionally used and abused children, by using them for their own means of power and control, or by dismissing their complaints and pleas for help, or being too embarrassed to stand up to an adult to help the child. Don’t put their complaint in the too hard basket, it’s time to act like adults and protect our children.