Preventing childhood sexual abuse and trauma is everyone’s business!
Increasingly, our young people are seeing confusing messages about consent, and the erosion of those things fundamental to a respectful relationship.
It is concerning that we are increasingly seeing children and young people represented in reports of harmful sexualised behaviour or being groomed and exploited online by adults. In Perth this week, 45 adults were arrested in relation to child exploitation, and Police seized 35,000 child sexual abuse images. These are images of real children (not actors) being degraded and harmed with often life-time consequences.
This reminds us that these disturbing circumstances are not happening somewhere else to someone else, this is happening in our own backyard, and it is everyone’s business.
We can all do something to make a difference in our sphere of influence, by facing these hard realities and making sure we are aware of the risks and the signs of harm.
It is important that we understand what key messages from society are impacting children and young people’s developing brains, what is influencing their future attitudes and what is either helping or hindering their ability to self-regulate.
It is up to the whole community, parents, teachers, family members, work colleagues, friends, coaches, reporters… We all need to play a part in supporting developing minds to understand the fundamental principles of a respectful relationship.
Early intervention works. If we can create compassionate, respectful communities, we will make a change and reduce child sexual abuse and childhood trauma. Phoenix is committed to creating compassionate communities by changing one mind and one heart at a time through early intervention and prevention.
A recently published Anrows Report found 51% of women in their 20’s have experienced sexual violence and women who experienced child sexual abuse are twice as likely to experience violence as an adult.
Find out more about Phoenix and how we are different from other services.
Written by Louise Lamont