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Social issues

Community Crusaders: Childwise

– by David Churack

Our children. Their future.

Childwise is a not-for-profit child abuse prevention organisation, working to shield children from the harms of sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation.

Established in 1991, Childwise has since become one of Australia’s leading child abuse prevention organisations, achieving high credibility and government recognition, as well as winning awards for its innovative prevention programmes.

It is the Australian representative of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes International), a global organisation dedicated to eliminating child prostitution, pornography and child trafficking.

Childwise has several important goals and activities designed to reduce the significant pervasiveness and impact of child abuse in society.

A major part of the organisation revolves around raising awareness of the prevalence of child abuse. It is important that victims and survivors are able to talk about it with parents or other authority figures, and Childwise assists by fostering an atmosphere where it becomes possible.

For instance, Childwise offers counselling and support services, dedicated to helping victims, as well as their families, work through the trauma and mental anguish caused by their experiences.

Another strategy Childwise adopts is educating parents and communities on ways they can protect their children against these crimes. The existence of regulated public responses to this issue, as well as proper parental care, is an essential step in confronting the very real dangers that threaten children.

To implement this, Childwise operates a number of public education programmes on preventing, and dealing with, child abuse. These programmes also target the improvement of child-parent communication in order to encourage children to speak up about any troubling events. There are also training programmes aimed at organisations for the detection of and proper response to incidents of child abuse.

Childwise offers hotline services with anonymous professional advice given to parents, those affected by child abuse, and other members of the wider public. These toll-free hotlines  include the National Child Abuse Prevention Hotline and the Starting Point Helpline.

The innocence and safety of children are one of the most precious elements of a civilised community. Unfortunately, child abuse remains one of the most confronting problems still plaguing our world, and the work of Childwise should be recognised as providing an invaluable service to the most vulnerable in our society.

To learn more or to assist in this worthwhile cause, please visit: http://www.childwise.net/page/7/about-child-wise

Starting Point Helpline: 1800 99 10 99 / helpline@childwise.net

Photo credit: Childwise

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