Bravehearts has launched their ‘Who R U Protecting’ selfie campaign to encourage mass participation in helping protect the 1 in 5 Australian children who are at risk of being sexually assaulted.
Bravehearts media manager Jason Oxendridge said people really got behind this year’s event and the participation was ‘excellent’.
“We have a lot of support from everyday Australians, celebrities, sports people and organisations around Australia and that’s thousands of people who got the message about child sexual assault,” he said.
“But we need more support because for the most part child sexual assault is preventable; we just need adults and communities to care, to step up and to prioritize the safety of our children.”
In 2013, around 37,781 children suffered abuse, with sexual assault rising up to 12%.
The latest Bravehearts initiative is designed to raise funds and help the organisation deliver better education, counselling and case management services to the most vulnerable members of the community.
“We are trying to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child by 2020 and in order to do that we need to educate, to empower, and protect children in our community,” Mr Oxendridge said.
Queensland Child Protection Community spokesperson and chair Lorraine Dupree said the responsibility for child protection is ‘everybody’s business’ and urged citizens to ‘be someone who listens to children and supports families.’
“It is about staying connected and engage with your child and having a positive relationship with them,” she said.
“It is about observing and listening to your child. Then we are open in hearing what they’ve got to say and hopefully they are going to be comfortable with telling us when anything is not quite right.”
A father of three who joined the White Balloon Day event said it is important that parents make an effort to build a healthy and safe environment for their children.
“As a parent and a member of the community, I am protecting my kids and all kids,” he said.
The donation pool will be open until the end of the week.
To donate, please go online at whiteballoonday.com.au.
For more information about Bravehearts, go to bravehearts.org.au.