National Child Protection Week
A study has just been released in Australia that says that just one third of Australians would call police if a child told them they were being sexually abused.
The results, released on Wednesday, showed that 48 per cent of people would not take action in clear-cut examples of child abuse for fear they might be wrong, while 42 per cent said they did not think it was their business. But most of the 22,000 people surveyed by the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) believed child abuse was a serious issue.
Since March, when I went public with my own history of abuse, there has been literally thousand of blogs, forums and tweets discussing my case. So many people couldn’t believe that it had been allowed to happen. People are outraged. People all claim that they would have done something. However, if you were really put in that spot, would you have? This study shows, maybe not.
People have judged me for going public. A lot of people are upset by the “Trial by Media”. However, I wouldn’t have done it any differently if I had to do it over again. By going public, it has forced people to talk about it. It’s forced people to think about what they would do if confronted by the same situation. It made witnesses come forward and talk to the police about it. People who otherwise may have been too scared to speak, in case they heard the infamous, “You’ll never work in this country again” line. Unfortunately, TV in Australia is a tiny community. People are terrified of speaking out of school. It’s very easy to be blacklisted and never work again. I have no doubt that if this was not public that many people would still be denying knowledge of the situation because they’d be scared to talk about it.
I really hope that by speaking out, that parents are thinking very hard about whether to put their kids into acting or modeling. I hope that if they are in the biz, they’re watching their kids like hawks.
I hope that people will get the courage to speak up if they see abuse. If a kid tells you something is not right, go investigate it for yourself if you don’t believe them. Then go to the police. Then get your kid some help. Call Bravehearts or any other child advocacy group.
Don’t let happen to your kids what happened to me. Don’t be the 2/3rds of Australia that would just look the other way. Even if it’s not your kid. It’s your job to protect them. They came to you, they asked for your help. Do the right thing and get them the help they need.
Go to the Bravehearts website to learn more about Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Assault.