Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnson
Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnson

An Aussie kid is sexually assaulted every two hours

STARTLING new data from child protection group Bravehearts has revealed that every two hours an Australian child is sexually abused.

Figures from Bravehearts research have also shown that one in five children will be sexually harmed in some way by the time they turn 18 years old - that is almost 60,000 children each year.

Bravehearts is calling on people to get involved in White Balloon Day to help raise awareness about child protection.

Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston said it was the nation's responsibility to prevent sexual abuse against children.

This year the 20th annual White Balloon Day will be held on September 9 during Child Protection Week.

Some communities have already signed up for Australia's Biggest Child Protection Challenge, which encourages participants to host a White Balloon Day event, fundraise online or generate awareness via social media.

Ms Johnston said the day was about encouraging people to step up for kids and raise awareness and funds to deliver vital support and prevention programs.

It was also about encouraging children to come forward and break the silence.

"It is likely there is a child in everyone's life, or the life of someone they know, who has been a victim of child sexual assault," Ms Johnston said.

"Protecting kids is everyone's business and by stepping up and taking the challenge, everyone can play a role."

She said churches, police, government, big business, schools, child protection organisations, the media and everyday people all committing to create child-safe communities was a powerful force.

About $20,000 has been raised so far.

To register visit whiteballoonday.com.au.



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