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SHADOW Minister for Families, Youth and Community Services Elizabeth Kikkert will today, March 21, be calling on the ACT government to work with nationally accredited organisations like Bravehearts and Child Wise to develop safety packs for first-time parents and caregivers.
Mrs Kikkert says all first-time parents and primary caregivers in Canberra should be given safety packs to help them detect signs of potential child sexual abuse.
“Talking about child sexual abuse is not easy, but it is absolutely necessary if we want to protect our children and give them every opportunity at a happy childhood,” she says.
The packs would give parents information on how to recognise offender tactics, potentially risky situations and warning signs of child sexual abuse if it’s happening. They would also help parents respond to suspected abuse and actual discovery of abuse.
“Parents need to know how to spot signs of potential child sexual abuse, and also how to detect and respond to abuse if it is happening,” Mrs Kikkert says.
“Unfortunately, research shows that many parents have no idea how to detect the warning signs.
“I have spoken at length with a Canberra mother who feels strongly that she didn’t know enough to protect her child. She said the warning signs were there but she was unable to recognise them.
“If we can help parents by filling this information gap, we must. The safety packs I am calling for will give first-time parents and caregivers necessary skills to help them protect their children from becoming victims.
“If these safety packs can save even one child, one family, from this type of trauma then they will be worth it.
“This is a simple, but powerful step to give parents skills that could help prevent child abuse.”