Need to fuel sex as­sault de­bate

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Lisa Thomas

ONE in five chil­dren in Aus­tralia will be sex­u­ally harmed be­fore the age of 18 – that is 59,000 chil­dren this year alone.

These are not just sta­tis­tics, but some­thing that could hap­pen to your brother, sis­ter, child or grand­child.

More dis­turb­ing is that in a given year only one in 100 sex of­fend­ers are con­victed of sex­ual as­sault.

When it comes to child sex­ual as­sault, or any sex­ual as­sault or vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren, we need to sit up and take no­tice.

In an age where ev­ery­thing we think or feel is shared on so­cial me­dia, why is this in­for­ma­tion some­thing we are not hear­ing ev­ery day?

Ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralia Bureau of Sta­tis­tics – un­less peo­ple come face to face with the is­sue – col­lec­tively Aus­tralians rate petrol prices, pub­lic trans­port and roads as is­sues greater than child abuse.

Abbey’s story shouldn’t just be an­other statis­tic, it should be a mes­sage to ev­ery­one and the jus­tice sys­tem that sex­ual as­sault crimes should be taken more se­ri­ously.

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