Chalk­ing to help mes­sage

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - NEWS -

AUS­TRALIA’S lead­ing child pro­tec­tion ad­vo­cate Brave­hearts is call­ing on ev­ery­body to help raise aware­ness and demon­strate sup­port for sex­ual as­sault vic­tims and sur­vivors.

Brave­hearts founder Hetty John­ston AM said this year the not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion is ask­ing peo­ple to ‘chalk about it’ on Septem­ber 7 for White Bal­loon Day, which is part of Na­tional Child Pro­tec­tion Week, which runs from Septem­ber 2-8.

Brave­hearts is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to grab some white chalk and draw bal­loons, along with mes­sages of sup­port, on drive­ways, foot­paths and other safe com­mu­nity sur­faces through­out the na­tion.

“When you use chalk to draw your bal­loon with a mes­sage of sup­port you can be sure it is en­vi­ron­men­tally safe and that some­one who needs to see will see it,” Ms John­ston said.

“It is a sim­ple but pow­er­ful way for peo­ple ev­ery­where to break the si­lence on child sex­ual as­sault and tell some­one, to show them we care and to sig­nal our sup­port for them when they do.

“With rates of child sex­ual as­sault and ex­ploita­tion in Aus­tralia re­main­ing at cri­sis lev­els, now more than ever Brave­hearts needs the sup­port of com­mu­ni­ties and gov­ern­ments to help in­crease aware­ness to pro­tect chil­dren from a crime that breaks the lit­tle hearts and spir­its of Aus­tralia’s most pre­cious trea­sures – our chil­dren.”

The an­nual day, which is in its 22nd year, is Brave­hearts largest na­tional cam­paign, which helps raise funds and aware­ness for the pre­ven­tion of child sex­ual as­sault.

Par­ents and car­ers can ac­cess a free per­sonal safety par­ents’ guide from Brave­hearts to help talk to chil­dren about the is­sue. The guide can be down­loaded by vis­it­ing white­bal­loon­day.com.au/use­ful-down­loads.

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