Help­ing to ed­u­cate kids about sex­ual as­sault

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

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 Cri­sis and Coun­selling is call­ing all res­i­dents 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.

A White Bal­loon Day event will be held at Cen­tro Whit­sun­day from 8.30am to 5.30pm, fea­tur­ing free face paint­ing and en­ter­tain­ment for kids.

The na­tion-wide event aims to raise aware­ness about child sex­ual as­sault and help em­power sur­vivors to break the si­lence.

It is a key fix­ture National Child Pro­tec­tion week from Septem­ber 2-8, and all funds raised will go to­wards ed­u­ca­tion and coun­selling pro­grams.

Brave­hearts founder and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Hetty John­stone said White Bal­loon Day was 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.”

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