Helping to ensure child protection is everyone's business

By: yourtown 05 Sep Blog, yourtown, Client Services, Kids Helpline

Violence, abuse, neglect... it can be hard to know what to do when someone you know is being hurt.

When you're the one copping the abuse, it's even harder.

“More than 5,000 counselling contacts to Kids Helpline each year are about child abuse, domestic or family violence, or issues related to living in out-of-home care,” Kids Helpline CEO Tracy Adams revealed.

“Last year, one in 10 of these were about concern for another person.”

To help those young people struggling, Kids Helpline has launched two comics focusing on what to do when your friend is being abused.

Written specifically for High School and Primary School students, the comics were produced by Kids Helpline counsellors in consultation with students from Beachmere State School, Narangba Valley State High School and Southern Cross Catholic College.

“Children and young people care about each other and we should never underestimate the critical role they play in child protection,” Ms Adams said.

“Our role as adults is to keep children safe but this includes respecting the important connection friends have and equipping them with information to not only recognise but know what to do to support someone needing help.”

The free resources focus on the stories of Alex, Jess & Sacha – three primary school friends, and Quinn & Morgan – two high schoolers.

Alex, Jess & Sacha (ages 5-12)

Alex is acting differently at school. He no longer wants to go home...

Jess and Sacha are worried about Alex. From wearing a jumper when it's boiling hot, to kicking over the trash can at lunch, he hasn't been himself. But what can they do?

Available in digital, print and video, the kids comic is about physical violence while the teens version focuses on sexual abuse.

The comics received funding from the Queensland Child Protection Week Committee.

“We know that often the first person to notice or hear about abuse can be a friend,” Ms Adams said.

“Many may think child protection is only something adults know or understand but the hundreds of contacts made to Kids Helpline each year by young people looking out for friends says otherwise.”

In 2017, child abuse was the second most common reason for Kids Helpline initiating emergency duty-of-care interventions.

Quinn & Morgan (ages 13+)

Morgan is worried about Quinn. He hasn’t been at school and has disappeared online…

Then Quinn opens up about something serious that has been going on at home. He doesn’t know what to do and isn’t sure anyone will believe him.

Check out Kids Helpline’s full range of comics, tipsheets and social infographic on child abuse at kidshelpline.com.au.

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