Before I get on my soapbox I would like to thank everyone who have attended a workshop or who have supported us at Safe4kids in some way. We look forward to working together so we can make it a safer place for children to grow up in 2013. Roger and I would like to wish everyone a wonderful and safe Christmas break.
I have to applaud the Australian government for establishing a Royal Commission into the cover-up of child sexual abuse in institutions, including: schools, children’s homes, sporting and community groups, the scouts and religious bodies including the Catholic Church. However, I have grave concerns that this will detract from the focus of the real problem, that 40% of child abuse is taking place in the child’s own home.
My concern with all the media coverage that the Royal Commission has been given, and the faith that people mistakenly place in existing systems, parents will continue to think that this cannot happen to their child. There is a perception that children who are not being cared for properly, left alone too much, of a certain age, of a certain personality, are the ones who are going to be abused. Parents are happy to teach ‘Stranger Danger’ because it is easy to think that only strangers could commit this heinous crime against children. Parents may be lulled into a false sense of security thinking, “Well, my child doesn’t go to Scout group, and we don’t go to church, so I don’t have to worry.”
In 2010, the Australian Childhood Foundation did a study which found that one in three Australians would not believe children if they disclosed that they were being assaulted, and that one in five Australians lacked the confidence to know what to do if they suspected that a child was being assaulted or neglected.
I recently attended a workshop run by Support Assessment and Intervention For Families (SAIFF) from NSW on ‘Understanding and Responding to the Sexual Behaviours of Children and Adolescents.’ I was made aware of some frightening statistics which I want to share with you:
- Juveniles account for between 17- 26% of arrests for sexual assaults, and of these, 9% of them are girls.
- 60% of juvenile abusers perpetrate against their siblings.
- 13 – 15 year old boys perpetrate the greatest number of sexual offences.
(source: Rich, P (2011) Understanding, Assessing & Rehabilitating Juvenile Sex Offenders (2nd Ed), John Wiley & Sons: New Jersey, p55)
Although these statistics are from the USA the trends are similar in all western countries. We need to have a national campaign to educate the whole nation about these crimes committed against children and we need to make sure Abuse Prevention Education is being taught in all of our schools. As this is one of the most serious crimes in the world today, we need to get real and get focused, take our heads out of the sand, and start being proactive in of looking after our children.
Product of the Month: Matilda Learns a Valuable Lesson
Matilda learns that if you feel unsafe you need to tell someone on your Network and she also learns the importance of persisting with telling until you feel safe again.
This book is an invaluable safety resource for those with or those who teach children and a powerful tool for children of all ages and cultures. The end of this book has resource pages for adults, which include going over the main points of Protective Behaviours, and giving specific information to effectively and efficiently deal with receiving a disclosure from a child.
Price AUD$20.00 (inc. GST)
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Safe4Kids Training Programs
Holly-ann provides specialised training for teachers, childcare educators and parents to provide them with skills and practical ideas for teaching Protective Behaviours to children. You can begin to implement this program in your school, childcare centre or home with a basic training workshop - in two hours you can gain enough knowledge to immediately start teaching your children and begin modeling the language, concepts and strategies of Abuse Prevention Education.
Basic Training is a two hour professional development for teachers and childcare educators, presented by Holly-ann Martin as an introduction to her ten-week lesson plan.
Classroom Mentoring is also available for more detailed and practical training for teachers.
Parent Workshop is a two hour session packed with fantastic ideas for parents to begin practicing pro-active behaviour and language with their children at home.
Holly-ann is also available for customised in-house training and consulting by request.
If you would like more information about training, or would like to engage Holly-ann as a speaker at your event, please contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org