National Child Protection Week runs from 3 – 9 September. In this week we take the time to reflect on child protection issues and promote the wellbeing of our young people.
I am asking for a world without child abuse, and we can only achieve that though creating safe environments for our kids. Reports of child abuse are overwhelming and give witness to the lack of accountability for adults who abuse young people. Sadly, some communities are looking the other way, ignoring the abuse of children because this is the easiest option. People don’t want to get involved in notifying assaults on our young people because of the fear of the consequences from the perpetrators.
Nothing is more important than protecting our vulnerable children from abuse and neglect. Child abuse goes beyond the tears and pain experienced in childhood. Victims endure a lifetime of psychological and emotional distress, they often become drug users to kill the pain of abuse, attempt suicide, self-mutilate and have major trust issues. We, as a society, must ensure that we provide our children with a safe and supportive environment, so that they have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
My organisation, Youth Off The Streets is dedicated to helping victims of child abuse through extensive programs as well as our trained youth workers, case workers and psychologists. We strive to offer a full curriculum of care that is provided on a case by case basis, ensuring our young people get the care they so desperately need.
We as a community need to listen to what is happening to our young people, speak up and get help when our children are in trouble. Together we can protect some of Australia’s most vulnerable young people from experiencing this trauma.
Father Chris Riley
CEO and Founder at Youth Off The Streets