This year National Child Protection Week (6-12 of September) will celebrate its 30th year with the theme “Putting children first”.
“Putting children first” was front of mind when the National Child Protection Week campaign was first launched in 1990, with the aim of bringing abuse and neglect out of the shadows and putting child well-being on the national agenda. Since then, the need to put children first has been recognised time and time again as an important pillar for boosting the well-being of children in Australia.
Child abuse and neglect in Australia
Child abuse and neglect is one of Australia’s most significant social problems. Last year (2018-2019) more than 32,000 Australian children were proven to have been abused or neglected.
The term child abuse includes:
Physical abuse: non-accidental aggressive act towards a child including slapping, shaking, punching, kicking etc.
Psychological abuse: includes rejecting, ignoring, terrorising and/or not providing emotional support and care.
Sexual abuse: any sexual activity between a child and an adult or older person.
Neglect: failure to provide for a child’s basic needs, including not enough food, shelter, clothing, supervision, medical attention etc.
Children’s exposure to Family Violence: a child being present, either hearing or seeing, while a parent or sibling is subjected to physical, sexual or psychological abuse or is exposed to damage caused by the abuser.