Speak up without saying who you are
If it takes a village to raise a child then it takes a community to keep them safe from people who want to hurt, neglect or fail to protect them. It might be hard to imagine but there are young people in Australia who are hungry, have no access to food and don’t know if they will be fed today or not. There are children who don’t know where their parent or caregiver is or when they’ll be back. Others may be cared for by an adult who is intoxicated, on drugs, angry and abusive.
The pandemic has made spotting signs of possible abuse and neglect more difficult because of social distancing – with going to school, playing sports or doing other activities all impacted.
Staying at home could mean exposure to domestic abuse and parents or carers with drink or drug abuse problems or unsupported mental health issues.
It’s important to know signs of potential abuse so if something doesn’t feel right, speaking up can make a real difference to a child’s wellbeing.
In addition to obvious physical injuries, other warning signs might include a child who is anxious or frightened. Maybe you’ve heard shouting, things being broken or hitting, or a child crying for long periods. Perhaps it’s a young child left alone or outdoors by themselves or are very dirty or don’t have their clothes changed.
You don’t need proof of harm or abuse to raise a concern – just a belief that a child has been harmed or is likely to be harmed.
Remember in an emergency to call 000, if it’s not an emergency but you need police assistance call 131 444 and if you want to share what you know without saying who you are or getting involved then call
Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.