Child sexual assault workshop well supported
ABOUT 40 people gave up their time on Monday night to learn about the difficult topic of child sexual assault, at a special workshop titled ‘Supporting Hands’.
The workshop was a training program created by child protection advocates Bravehearts and brought to the region by the Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling Service (WCCS) with support from the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach.
WCCS counsellor Leah Anderson said among the attendees were childcare workers, nurses, teachers, members of local service organisations, counsellors and members of the community who were keen to learn how they could help.
“People seemed to be able to take something away, which was the main aim – more awareness and making people better aware of how to protect our children.”
The community workshop was followed by two days of specialist training for local practitioners at a ‘Working with Child Sexual Assault’ workshop, also hosted by WCCS and supported by Rotary.
Ms Anderson said this was an interactive course designed specifically for healthcare professionals working with, or providing therapeutic support to children and young people who were affected or at risk of sexual assault.
Airlie Beach Rotarian Steve Anderson said Rotary was pleased to have been able to support the community in bringing these programs here.
The workshops have formed part of Sexual Violence Awareness Month (SVAM), which includes a range of activities and events aimed at increasing awareness of this issue.
The next SVAM activity is a sign and poster painting session for the forthcoming Reclaim the Night march, at the Whitsunday Neighbourhood centre today, from 10am-1pm. For more information, phone 4946 4850.
SUPPORT: Leah Anderson (WCCS) Jessica Morrow (Bravehearts) Roger Boast (Rotary Club of Airlie Beach president) and Mandy Coles (WCCS) at the Supporting Hands community workshop held on Monday night.