As Australians prepare to celebrate living in the Lucky Country this Australia Day, leading child protection charity Barnardos Australia urges the nation to stop ignoring the deplorable rise of Australian children suffering abuse and neglect.
Every 15 days an Australian child dies from assault1 and nearly 40,000 children are not able to live at home because of abuse or neglect2. In 2013 there were a shocking 40,571 substantiated reports of Australian children suffering serious abuse and neglect, an increase of 33 per cent from 20103.
Barnardos CEO, Louise Voigt, says the rise of child abuse in Australia signals an urgent need for Australians to change their perspective on child abuse here at home.
“The statistics are outrageous. We have too many children suffering terrible abuse and neglect in Australia. Our children suffer every day and at alarming rates—it isn’t simply an overseas problem. Child abuse happens in our very own backyard," she says.
It is a tragedy that the generosity of Australian donations to overseas causes is not matched at home4. Barnardos launched its Child Sponsorship program so Australians could provide much needed support, counselling, rehabilitation and grief services for children in desperate need.
The program allows Australians to sponsor local children who have suffered abuse or neglect and to help Barnardos provide the vital services they need to ensure abuse and neglect is ended in their lives.
This Australia Day, Barnardos calls on every Australian to change their perspective on child abuse—it is happening here and the situation is grim. By sponsoring local children in need every Australian can make sure all young people feel lucky to be Australian.