This week is National Child Protection Week.
The aim of the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) is to enhance children's wellbeing and assist children and communities to build healthy and respectful relationships, and protect children from harm. The overarching goal is to keep all children safe through the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Child abuse takes many forms:-
Physical abuse - intentional acts towards a child such as slapping, shaking, punching and kicking
Psychological abuse - can include name calling, rejecting, ignoring, humiliating and failing to provide emotional support
Sexual abuse - can include touching, oral, anal and vaginal penetration, exposing a child to sexual activity or pornography
Neglect - failing to provide for a child's basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, supervision or medical attention.
Exposure to family violence - when a child sees or hears a parent or siblings subjected to physical, sexual or psychological abuse, or is exposed to the aftermath of such abuse
Exposure to drug or alcohol abuse
It is important to help children and young people to find their voices and be heard. Telling their story and being listened to not only encourages self-confidence and emotional growth, it provides the opportunity for children to express their fears and concerns in a safe and supportive environment. It allows them to share painful experiences so that adults can take action to protect them from abuse or neglect.
If you have concerns about a child or children, it is better to err on the side of caution and report it to the relevant authority for investigation. The consequences of failing to do something on behalf of the child or children can be dire.
Protecting children is everyone's business.
Play your part.