Child Sex Abuse

Author: Kate Handevidt


Out of the blue an ordinary man Alfie Dennen was touched by the powerlessness of the London bombings and set up a website to declare that "he was not afraid" by putting up a simple picture and declaring I am not afraid!
His message touched a cord in the hearts of people everywhere and people all over the world responded and within a week received of 7,000 images from around the world declaring the same message.

Statistics tell us that 1- 4 girls and 1- 6 boys have been sexually abused.
There are nearly 5 million children under the age 17 living in Australia right now (Bureau of Statistics).
1 - 4 girls represents 25% of the child population and 1- 6 boys represent 17%, according to these statistics over 1 million children have reported to authorities that they have been sexually abused. These statistics are of children who do tell but most children don't tell.

We go after the predators, we educate the public, we counsel the abused and nothing changes; children still get sexually abused at alarming rates.
WE need the community to stand up and shout into the silence and secrecy of child sexual abuse and declare that: "We aren't going to take it anymore."
We need to strike a note in the hearts of parents and caregivers to do the right thing and stand against this tide of abuse against our most innocent and vulnerable members of our community.

We need to move from method and move into the heart of the homes if we are going to change things.
I believe we need to stop spending community money on methods that aren't working and use that money to put simple advertising on television to ignite passion in parents and at the same time give the message to the perpetrators that "we aren't going to take it any more." It will also tell the children who are being abused that it is wrong and it is not their fault.

A well known British philosopher Sir Edmund Burke says: "All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in this world is for enough good people to do nothing."

Kate Handevidt



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This is what I would like to see happen: It is a new concept, it is simple, it is fresh and I believe it will hit several birds with one stone.


The economic cost of child abuse
We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to child abuse because the financial burden to
the taxpayer is enormous. In 2003, the Brisbane-based Child Abuse Trust calculated
the cost of 38,700 cases and found that medical treatment alone amounted to $1.3
billion. Foster care and other out-of-home care cost $797 million. Social and
psychological costs came to $1.9 billion and the justice system, $794 million. The
overall costs to the taxpayer of 38,700 cases, was reported to be almost $5 billion.
With 150,000 cases of child abuse reported last year and the number increasing
annually, the cost has been estimated at $19.5 billion per annum. In 1998, UniSA
economists Ron Donato and Dr. Martin Shanahan calculated the tangible cost of each
child sex offence at around $200 000. This should be a powerful incentive for
governments and communities to do more to tackle the problem.  Freda Briggs, Emeritus Professor in Child Development, University of South Australia,

If we could stop child sexual abuse at grass root levels .in the home where it confronts the problem, confronts the perpetrator and alerts parents, and informs the child then we are going to save taxpayers millions of dollars we will save millions of people years of pain and we will have children who grow up with a healthy sense of self worth.


I believe that if we had the funding to produce a challenging advertisement targeting the family with the slogan ..or one similar like "Nuh not taking it any more!"
I believe that this will have a ripple effect.

1.It will tap into the parent's need to protect their child and make them alert to those around them that they love and trust.
2. It will give the message to the perpetrators that "we aren't going to take it any more."
3.It will also tell the children who are being abused that it is wrong and it is not their fault.
4.It will tap into the need for survivors to get healing.

We could get churches, scouts, sports clubs, magazines, organisations, high profile people to come into the advertisements saying "We are not going to take it anymore!" Bring community involvement and support.
We could put support phone numbers for children, survivors, perpetrators and people who want to report.

A television campaign would go straight into the homes where the abuse is happening and challenge this behaviour.

I have been dreaming and planning to do this for years now yet never been able to create the funding to bring it into reality.