New centre helps region’s most vulnerable
A SPECIALIST therapy service has opened in Gladstone to help the increasing number of children falling victim to sexual abuse or assault.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher, Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett and Act for Kids Chief Executive Officer Dr Katrina Lines today officially opened Act for Kids, a specialist therapy service for children who have been sexually abused and assaulted.
Mayor Matt Burnett said under the circumstances he wished Gladstone didn't need to have this kind of service in the community.
"Unfortunately I've seen the statistics … we absolutely need this service in Gladstone," Cr Burnett said.
"It's very sad the number of children that are in care, the number of children needing care and the number of children being abused not just in Queensland or Central Queensland but in the Gladstone region."
Cr Burnett said hundreds of children ranging from birth to the age of 18 in the region had been suffering from neglect, abuse and sexual abuse.
"You wouldn't have to open this facility if there wasn't a problem, but there is a problem," he said.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said a lot of children in the community suffered from sexual abuse.
"We live this life where it is good and your kids are happy and healthy but in the background there is kids getting sexually abused in their homes," Mr Butcher said.
"All these bad things are happening with domestic violence where the kids are involved, and it is happening in our community.
"(Mayor Matt Burnett) and I would love to not have this service in Gladstone, that means everyone is doing the right thing but there is a need and that's why we supported to make sure those kids are supported."
Act for Kids Chief Executive Officer Dr Katrina Lines said Act for Kids was the first service in Gladstone that specifically helped kids cope with sexual abuse trauma.
"There is some youth services but this is the first specialist for sexual abuse and violence," Dr Lines said.
"One of the first things we do to help kids through trauma and sexual abuse is to make them understand it is not their fault.
"A lot of it is about understanding it is not their fault and that what happened wasn't okay."
Act for Kids is located at 30 Glenlyon Street, Gladstone Central.