Children’s Safety Australia have launched two new safety initiatives to coincide with National Child Protection Week.
The organisation was founded by Kim Kellaway in 2008 when as a career police officer, she noticed that the community perception was that unknown people are more of a threat to children’s safety, particularly in relation to child sexual abuse.
Over 90 per cent of sexual abuse is from someone who is known to the child, and Kim told 96five that Children’s Safety Australia was founded to better educate the community about the real risks to our kids, and promote better messaging around safety.
“We were formed to create a whole lot of resources and awareness raising strategies, to alert parents, carers, teachers and other professionals working with kids what messages they can pass onto kids to help keep them safe.”
Kim said that although the data overwhelmingly shows that children who are abused know the perpetrator, the stranger danger message is still prevalent and needs modifying.
“Strangers are a much less likely threat, and kids don’t really have an appreciation who strangers are. They’ll often think of strangers as someone looking a bit shady, and unless someone looks like that we lose value in that stranger danger message.
“That message also stops kids from getting help from people they don’t know, in a situation where they don’t have a trusted adult around.”
Kim told 96five that this National Child Protection Week there are two new safety campaigns being launched, with feedback also being sought around the initiatives.
“We’re seeking feedback about two new programs; the first is called Safe Places. This is similar to what the Safety House program did, and is unfortunately no longer running in Queensland.
“This is about creating an easily identifiable, accessible public space for children as well as adults to go to when they’re in need. These could be grocery stores, service stations or fast food chains, but are marked as places of safety with trained staff who can contact police.
“The second program is called Safety Signals, which is about providing a clear signal for people – children or adults, are in danger and in need of urgent help.”
You can watch the short video about the two new programs below, and Children’s Safety Australia would welcome your feedback as they seek to roll these initiatives out.
You can fill in a short survey by clicking here.
Listen to the full interview with Kim in the audio player above.