White Balloon Day to help local kids
ONE in five Australian children will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday and in 85 per cent of cases, the offender is known to the child as a relative or a trusted friend, according to government research.
Whitsunday residents, schools, council and organisations are now preparing to play their part in raising awareness and funds for children in need as the countdown begins for the Bravehearts annual White Balloon Day on September 6.
Launching this week in the Whitsundays, the Australia-wide event is a key fixture of National Child Protection Week from September 2-8, with all funds raised going toward education, prevention and counselling programs.
Bravehearts founder and executive director Hetty Johnstone said White Balloon Day is a symbol of hope for future survivors of this devastating crime.
“White Balloon Day is about encouraging kids to come forward and break the silence, while we raise the necessary funds to ensure vital support networks and programs can continue,” she said.
“We are asking the community to help us raise money to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.”
Supporting White Balloon Day can be as simple as tying a white balloon to a letterbox or as grand as hosting a fundraising function.
Bravehearts is also calling for everyone to wear white on the day to show their support for victims of child sexual assault and to generate awareness about this issue as it seeks to educate, empower and protect the most vulnerable members of the community – our kids.
Ms Johnstone said unless victim’s come forward, many other children remain targets for paedophiles.
For more information or to register as a volunteer, simply log on to www.whiteballoonday.com.au.
PLAY YOUR PART: Bravehearts founder and executive director Hetty Johnstone and Bravehearts mascot Ditto are urging all Whitsunday residents to help raise funds and awareness for victims of sexual assault.