Morcombes and Bravehearts forge links
MORE children suffering from sexual assault will be able to seek help on the Sunshine Coast as the Daniel Morcombe Foundation spreads its wings.
The foundation has paired up with national child protection advocate Bravehearts to provide a full-time counsellor one day a week on the Coast and four days at Bravehearts' new Strathpine office. The first client will be seen next week.
Bravehearts founder and executive director Hetty Johnston said the service would provide counselling to some of the most vulnerable members of the community.
"One in five children are sexually assaulted before they turn 18," she said.
Ms Johnston said the Coast and northside of Brisbane had eight of the top 10 suburbs in Queensland for police referrals.
"We needed to be here. The demand is here," she said.
Ms Johnston said there were 36 people on Bravehearts' counselling waiting list at both locations and the new counsellor would see at least 15 clients a week.
"We expect the demand to outstrip that very quickly, but it's 15 kids a week who are not going to have to endure the kind of suffering they now do," she said.
"Those children who don't get that professional help, they've got the ball and chain around the ankle.
"They're the children that end up doing drugs or committing suicide and we need to help those children."