Buddies bring home message
Kiwi comedian Jeremy Corbett says since having children he finds it increasingly hard to read about child abuse cases.
It’s one of the main reasons he chose to take part in New Zealand’s child abuse awareness event Buddy Day.
The event is being held for the fourth year on November 14, in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Wellington.
Buddy Day revolves around lifesized cardboard cutouts of children – ‘Buddies’ – which are adopted by adults and taken into communities and workplaces.
They are used as a tool to generate conversations about the wellbeing of our children and spread the message that it’s up to all adults to keep kids safe.
‘‘Child abuse is something that we need to talk about in this country and not brush under the carpet. It’s a huge issue and it shouldn’t be an issue at all.’’
Corbett has two daughters, 3-year-old Charlie and 18-monthold Billie.
He has embraced the concept by adopting a buddy by the name of Professor Unit, who is shadowing him in his day-to-day life until Buddy Day.
‘‘He has become quite the ‘buddy’ to my children, who say good morning to him every day.
‘‘Charlie has included him in our dinner time routine where we talk about the highlights of our day.’’
Child Matters chief executive Anthea Simcock says child abuse has been described as New Zealand’s single most important public health challenge costing the country around $2 billion annually in health, prison and other related costs. There are close to one million New Zealanders living with the immediate and long-term effects of childhood trauma.
Raising awareness: This year 1500 Buddies, like Jeremy Corbett’s, will be decorated by schoolchildren and adopted by carers on Buddy Day.