Our experience of 2021 - especially for the children, families, staff and donors in Victoria and NSW - has again been intensely shaped by the impact of the pandemic. It is the priority of the Australian Childhood Foundation to champion the interests of vulnerable children and young people and keep them, their families and communities safe during this incredibly tough time.
The Foundation’s recently released Still Unseen and Ignored report findings highlight that as a community we remain unaware of the dangers that children face. We are also not always willing to believe children when they disclose abuse.
All that we do, we are focused on making sure that children’s needs are visible to their broader network of close and important adults. These relationships are crucial to ensuring their protection and safety, and allowing children and young people the happiest and healthiest of childhoods.
Unfortunately, due to ongoing stress arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fatigue of the prolonged consequences for the broader community, more people than ever before are finding it hard to stay engaged with the intense reality faced by so many children who face abuse, violence and neglect.
It is as if when there is community-wide danger, the risks to children are pushed even further away from individual and community awareness. Children cannot afford competing demands alongside their fundamental entitlements to safety, love and care. The most vulnerable and at-risk children cannot be left to wait whilst larger social problems are addressed. Child abuse certainly does not stop if we turn away from it because it is too confronting.
Thankfully, the results of this research also demonstrate that people in our community are willing and prepared to do more to protect children. Three quarters of respondents supported the need for Australia to have a national campaign to raise awareness of child abuse and to provide resources to communities to enable people to act more protectively towards children. Just under half of respondents would be prepared to become actively involved to support a campaign to promote the recognition of child abuse and provide tools to communities to enable the protection of children facing abuse.
We know our supporters are proud members of a community who stand up for the rights of children to protection from abuse and violence. We could not do it without you.
Thank you for lending your voice to help us protect children who have suffered trauma. Your support changes lives - whether it be by becoming involved with our campaigns, sharing the important work we do with your networks, or making a vital donation to help us continue the therapeutic and education programs we provide.