This week, 4-10 September, is National Child Protection Week.
According to NAPCAN (National Assoiation for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) over 30,000 Australian children were proven (I hate that word 'proven' but that's what NAPCAN used) to be abused or neglected. If that isn't scary enough that number could be shockingly higher with a number of child abuse and neglect not officially confirmed.
Child abuse has always shocked, baffled and horrified me but after having a child it's become even more unthinkable that someone would harm any child let alone their own. I understand that PND (post natal depression) can play a major part which is devastating and more help for women and men suffering from PND is needed but this post isn't about that or them, it's about the children. Won't someone please think of the children?!
This year the theme for National Child Protection Week is 'Play your part to keep children safe'. Everyone can play a part to help keep children safe. Play Your Part has some wonderful facts for many people in the community including shopkeeper, teacher, neighbour, politician, doctor, young person, friends, parents, police, carers and many more.
I have threatened to call the police on one neighbour back when I was in high school. It was horrible. Every morning I would be woken early by her yelling or hitting her kids. She was in a high stress situation with marriage and money problems and took it out on her two poor children. It got to the point where I stormed over there one morning at 6am knocked on her door and told her that if I heard her hit her children one more time I would be calling the police. After that I heard her yell at her children but never hit them. I would have called the police if I did.
Looking back now it wasn't the best way to go about it but I was seventeen, tired and over being woken by someone else crying, yelling or hitting. I was inexperienced with how to deal with situations like that and what to do. The internet wasn't as widely used as it is now either so googling wasn't in my thought process. My thoughts were with the poor children though and I hope the mother got the help she needed.
Would I do it again? Not the same way no. As I'm a mother now I'd be more inclined to invite her over for a cup of coffee and have a nice chat to her about everything. I'd reach out to her. I'd offer to babysit her children so she could have a bit of a break. If that all didn't help I'd ask some friends who work in the child protection services what I should do. Threatening to or calling the police would be the final step not the first.
The point though is that we can all play a part helping parents and children live a more harmonious life. Please do check out and download the facts from Play Your Part and NAPCAN and check out posters (like the one above) you can download. If you are in Queensland see what events are on near you.
Together let's help Australian children.