Imaginif prompts for daily writers.
If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the below photo (changes daily) as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and your link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Stories below are copyright and are Megan Bayliss' writing around the below daily picture prompt.

Woolworths raised $4.7 million for Drought Relief

A giant fund raising top up from a giant Australian grocery retailer has helped thousands of farming families affected by harsh drought conditions and dieing livelihoods.

Woolworths raised $4.7 million for the Drought Relief effort and exceeded their expectations of $3 million. CONGRATULATIONS Woolworths and congratulations to every person that shopped in either Woolworths or Safeway supermarkets on January 23.

In the fair dinkum Australian Tall Poppy cut down mentality, Woolworths was subjected to criticism for holding their day of fund raising (100% of profit went to the drought relief) on what is traditionally their slowest day of the week. Further, two thirds of the funds have been given to the Country Women’s Association to disperse as Woolworths or Safeway vouchers. The criticism abounded with claims that Woolworths gives, but takes back. Where is the altruism in that?

It would appear that the traditionally quiet trading Tuesdays broke tradition on Tuesday the 23rd of January 2007. I for one, did not shop for three weeks leading up to the day so that I could do a massive grocery shop to support our Australian farming families. I know of a few friends who also did the same. The over target by $1.7 million would suggest that perhaps many others followed similar shopping patterns.

The use of Woolworths or Safeway vouchers to assist families is something that they would not have had if Woolworths had not dedicated their profit to the drought relief. Australians are quick to deficit saturate any business initiatives designed to help others. All I can say is, if you don’t like what Woolworths did, then do something better. Help our families. Spend less effort on cutting down giants and more effort on being proactive and community spirited yourselves. Our future, our children are in trouble because of the crippling drought facing parts of our country. We all need to help them: individuals, groups, small and big business.

Community support belongs in the community. Thank goodness though that we’ve got the Woolworths of the world because as a nation we’re not good at recognising individual need as it occurs. Rather we wait until the big boys organise relief efforts and then we freely give our support. Generous we are but gee I’d like to see us lose our penchant for cutting down the tall poppies.

Congratulations and thank you Woolworths. Your corporate social responsibility puts many other businesses to shame.

Any comments to Woolworths? I’ll be forwarding this post to their Corporate Social Responsibility Manager.

Men Speak Against Child Abuse

I am often asked by people, what they can do to help stop child abuse. This question alone is a good thing. It means that people are beginning to think about child abuse as a community responsibility: something that the average person can impact upon.

Through writing to Helium, I have made some solid friendships with other writers. Two males in particular stand out amongst the crowd. Two normal guys, doing their thing, and trying to make the world a better place. Both of those men have recently written about child abuse. Congratulations to them. They have taken a chance; have written publicly about a topic that many people dislike, and have effectively stood up and said: NO more child abuse.

Issues affecting children have long been viewed as women’s business. It is interesting to note here that by far the greatest perpetration of sexual and physical abuse is by men. I wonder why we make men’s issues women’s business? It is time for men to stand up and say to other men that bad behaviour will not be tolerated. It is time for men to become responsible and openly contribute to ending the endemic social curse that is affecting approximately half of our future male adults.

Standing against child abuse does not require degrees or years of experience. We all have a voice and most of us will be repulsed by the way some children are treated. Talk openly about your repulsion when you hear stories of child abuse. Talk about what it is that you would like to see happen. Talk about what you can do to help stop child abuse. Open and regular talk is the beginning of consciousness raising and change.

I would like you to read the articles of my two normal, male friends:

What to do if your child tells you he's been abused by Erik Van Tongerloo

Christian religion and child cruelty by Brit (Paul Lines).

These two normal people have found an outlet for their voices against child abuse and in doing so have become extraordinary, different to the rest of the pack. I hope that other so called normal males will follow suit and also begin talking about ending child abuse, especially child sexual abuse.

One blog that has often caught my attention is a site owned by a male survivor of child abuse: Child Abuse Survivor. Congratulations belong to him also. Another ordinary guy, just doing his thing and in the process impacting on ending child abuse.

Together we can end child abuse. Child protection is the responsibility of all of us - it is everybody's business. Who is with us on this matter?

Voluntary Blogging Jobs Update

I have begun receiving applications for the voluntary blogging jobs for the world’s largest on-line child protection conversation. Thank you to those who have contacted.

Please ensure that your applications are complete. Until I have all of your information to review I have to keep putting your application aside.

As stated on the Problogger job board, to apply you are required to provide the following information by email:

  1. Applications are to be sent by email (imaginifatbigponddotcomdotau).

  2. Applicants may apply for two separate child safety topic areas. Please state the area of child safety you would be writing in.

  3. Applicant writers will demonstrate in application a high knowledge in their nominated area of child safety by:
    * addressing particular dynamics of the issue and why you want to write in the area for no remuneration,
    * sending a short bio with a link to your blog or web site,
    * providing three samples of your writing (two previously published pieces please, this can be links to blog articles),
    * attaching a succinct resume or Curriculum Vitae and,
    * supply two referees (name, position and email address).

  4. Applications with either a current suitability card for working with children or criminal clearance are highly desirable but not absolutely necessary. Please include a scanned copy or make arrangements to fax or snail mail to Imaginif.

  5. Finally, if accepted applicants must be willing to interact with Imaginif, via email or phone. Please agree to this in your application.

  6. I had overlooked asking applicants to state the country they live in and whether there is a plan to post duplicate blogs: one in clear English and one in their mother tongue. Please do include this information as email addresses do not always make it clear where the application hails from.

If you need help with applying for these voluntary blogging positions please have a look at How to Apply for a Blog Job .

The advertising benefits to you during your duration as a voluntary blogger include:

  • Photo or Graphic on the About Us page including links back to your web pages and/or blogs.
  • Link to your web page or blog on the Links page and in blogroll.
  • Rotating banner display (must be supplied as ready).
  • Signature links to your page/s at end of each of your blogs.
  • You retain copyright of your material so you are free to post it elsewhere as well.

Please note that the bloggers will not be blogging to this blog, Child Protection: Serious Business. Imaginif is having a purpose built and highly interactive web site developed ( The site will be ready to go live by the end of May 2007 and will include blogs written by many child safety focused writers and a pumping forum where members can raise any topics about child safety, child protection and what they are doing that works to keep their kids safe.

I’m looking forward to entering into the largest on-line, global conversation about child safety with you.

Australia Day to Look Out for your Mate

Tomorrow, Friday January 26 2007, is Australia Day. We Aussies celebrate the day as a public holiday, have barbeques, go to the beach, watch or participate in sporting events or gather with family and mates and eat meat pies, lamingtons and pavlova. Australia is so much more than Meat Pies, great beaches and Kangaroos though. Australia is all about protecting our environment: including the environment of people.

On January 26, 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and became its first Governor. This day flagged the foundation day of the new colony, the new world, Australia.

Australia is a harsh land. The cruel sun and elements have made Aussies tough, survivors, resourceful and tenacious. Our isolation led to ingenuity and leadership. Although quick to cut down those Aussies that we consider, “tall poppies” we also pride ourselves on the concept of being a "true blue" mate.

Mateship is integral to the Aussie way of life. We look out for our mates and give them a hand when required. Is this the reason then that Australians have adopted, adapted and take seriously protective behaviours? We want to protect our mates.

Although the original protective behaviour program dealt specifically with child sexual abuse, Australia is responsible for widening the program to ensure that we look out for all community members needing protection from any element of harm. The Aussie way of life co-exists in many risk-taking situations: the beach with its sharks, crocodiles or surf, the outback with its snakes and spiders, the gum treed bush with its propensity to flood, drought and bush fire, and the cities with its pull of escaping to the wild colonial landscape. Add to this crime, fear of crime and the lessons we have learnt from other densely populated countries and my view is that Australia has got it right with their all encompassing protective behaviour programs and their views of looking out for our mates.

Happy Australia Day mate. How about tomorrow you help us celebrate by enacting our mate ship values. Look out for the people in your neighbourhood, apartment block or family. Engage in some protective behaviours and help keep the world’s children safe. Lend a child a hand, a smile, ring the authorities about that public playground equipment that needs fixing, report child abuse if you suspect it is happening.

Imaginif is about to launch the world’s biggest on-line child protection conversation and we hope that you will join us. The more mates we have, the quicker the world will understand that child protection IS serious business.

Some other blogs about Australia Day if you’re interested:

G’day Mate. Australia Day, true blue!
A nation of bonzer cringers?
Australia Day 2007
Google vs Microsoft on Australia Day
Australia Week. G’day LA and NY
Best vacation destinations
The story of a great Australian woman.

Water Safety.

While an Aussie Diver has survived an attack by the most savage predator in the world, our children may not be so lucky.

Child Safety and Protective Behaviours are not just about teaching personal safety from sexual predators, it is helping our children stay safe in all situations.

Water safety is important. The Queensland Government reports on drowning trends and states that:

  • Child drownings in Queensland swimming pools accounts for one quarter of all paediatric injury deaths and is the most common cause of traumatic death for children aged one to four years.

  • Approximately half of all drownings involving children under five years occurred in residential swimming pools. (Between 1992 and 2001, 73 children aged under five years died as a result of drowning in residential swimming pools in Queensland).

  • For every child drowning, up to 14 children are taken to hospital emergency departments, and four are admitted to hospital.

  • One study has found that 6 - 7% of these children will develop neurological deficits and will be permanently disabled or die as a consequence of nearly drowning.

  • It is also estimated that for every child taken to hospital emergency departments, there are 10 'near misses' (ie. children suffering immersion who are quickly rescued).

The National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control stresses that:

  • In 2003, there were 3,306 unintentional fatal drownings in the United States, averaging nine people per day. This figure does not include drownings in boating-related incidents (CDC 2005).

  • For every child 14 years and younger who dies from drowning, five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than half of these children require hospitalization (CDC 2005). Nonfatal drownings can cause brain damage that result in long-term disabilities ranging from memory problems and learning disabilities to the permanent loss of basic functioning (i.e., permanent vegetative state).

In our corner of the globe, water safety equates to protection against oceanic predators: sharks, crocodiles and dangerous creatures like Box Jellyfish or Stone Fish. While Steve Irwin and the Wildlife Warriors have done an amazing job at raising awareness around the wonders and conservation of these dangerous creatures, they have also hammered home the importance of respect and care of the individual when trying to view these animals in their natural habitat. This was Steve’s contribution to protective behaviour water safety.

For the vast majority of families, water safety translates to keeping your kids safe in the pool or at the beach. In the pool, don’t forget to Do the Five and keep our kids alive:

1. Fence the Pool
2. Shut the Gate
3. Teach Your Kids to Swim
4. Supervise
5. Learn Resuscitation

At the seaside, always swim between the flags on patrolled beaches:
F. Find the flags and swim between them.
L. Look at the safety signs.
A. Ask a Lifesaver for advise.
G. Grab a friend to swim with you.
S. Stick your hand up for help.

Most parents already do this. Highly aware of the dangers of drowning, millions of warrior parents enact protective behaviour water safety on a daily basis. Parents like these deserve celebrating. As parents, we don’t get enough pats on the back for keeping our kids safe. Let’s start a conversation and support each other. By celebrating what we already do to keep kids safe, we encourage other parents to learn, practice and keep their kids safe from drowning or predator attack too.

How do you teach your children the importance of water safety?

Web of Conversation Development

Business individuals operating from an ethical and truth-based locus of control can, in my experience, be difficult to locate. Despite corporate rhetoric or the marketing technique of relationship building, some stars shine out from the crowd. Their very presence emanates respect, patience and abuse free relationship building. This week I have found one through pure coincidence.

Imaginif is about to venture into an on-line and global conversation that has been boiling on the back hot plate for months now. Frustrated and frightened by my lack of appropriate technological language and ability to strengthen my voice in a male dominated, phollocentric and patriarchal world of web development, I finally faced the situation and began seeking the right person to develop Imaginif’s on-line conversation about child safety.

Congratulations to Marcus Xavier of Cool Image, web design and development. Not only did he listen, and hear, the essence of my clumsy and wrongly placed language about web site development but he clearly understood what Imaginif aims to achieve in creating the largest on-line conversation about child safety and protection.

Child protection, particularly child sexual abuse prevention, fails to be hot dinner party discussion. It can be “in your face” and threatening to many people because they don’t understand what it is. Wrongly, many of us rely upon someone else to do the work and carry the banner.

Child protection is a community responsibility and until we create an ongoing global community conversation around the topic, how many of you will think that somebody else is responsible for protecting the world’s children? Child protection is not merely about the aftermath of abuse, it is proactive, preventative and covers areas that most parents already reinforce: wearing shoes, hats, looking before you cross the road, never giving out personal details in chat rooms, etc. Child protection is good parenting.

Marcus Xavier from Cool Image web design and development got what I was referring to and never once attempted to move the conversation away from child protection. Thumbs up to you, Marcus. Thank you for displaying high ethics and for entering a truthful and stimulating conversation with me. I will have no hesitation in referring others to you and your business.

Reminder to Aussies: Shop Woolworths 23.1.07

Attention all you Australians: Tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd of January, Woolworths will donate 100% of profit to the drought relief fund.

For the full story on Woolworths amazing Corporate Social Responsibility see, Woolworths National Drought Action Day January 23, 2007.

I’ll be off to Woolworths early to do a huge shop.

Thanks Woolworths. Here’s thumbs up to you.

Imaginif Jobs for Child Safety Writers

Imaginif is about to launch a new protective behaviour concept: the largest on-line child protection conversation in the world.

Conversation topics covered will include, but not be limited to:

  • Water, sun, farm, poison, snow and road safety (each is a separate category).

  • Child sexual assault prevention.

  • Healthy and safe food for kids.

  • Travel safety.

  • Internet Safety.

  • Gang safety.

  • Bully safety.

  • Teenage and dating safety.

  • Domestic violence safety.

  • Business protection and safety.

  • Assist dogs for children with a disability.

  • Covert child photography safety.
To meet our aim of the largest global and ongoing child protection conversation we would like to attract trade specific writers willing to commit to writing just one child safety focused blog per week, answer comments on their blog and participate (at least once per week) in associated discussions in the child safety forums.

Applicant writers will be considered either expert or highly knowledgeable in their nominated area of child safety, will send a bio, three samples of their writing and two email referees to Megan for consideration and be willing to interact with Imaginif, via email or phone, if accepted.

This is a voluntary position and your commitment would be for a minimum three months. You may be able to do it as part of your Corporate Social Responsibility if you are staff of a progressive and socially responsible company. Alternatively, you may be like me and consider child safety so important that you are willing to write for the passion of it.

Accepted bloggers will email their weekly writing to Megan Bayliss (maximum 1000 words, average 550 words, no fewer that 350 words) to be posted on the new site. Blogs will contain a short bio of the blogger at the end of each blog with a link to either bloggers own site or place of business. In text linking back to own business, other articles or industry specific sites is encouraged. What a great way to increase traffic to your site.

Bloggers who have English as a second language are welcome to send duplicate posts: one in English and one in their mother tongue. Publishing both ensures that people who don’t speak English can still become part of the largest on-line child protection conversation in the world.

Volunteer writers will retain copyright of their material but please respect that once posted it should not be posted word for word elsewhere.

The new global conversation on child protection site will be monetized with Google AdSense and financial sponsor logos. This is required to meet hosting and site upkeep fees. Imaginif chooses to work independently without any government funding and supports the site from our other business income (sale of protective behaviour resources and consulting). Should you be accepted as a blogger, your company’s logo can be included on the front page at no financial cost. Your blogging will become your or your company’s, in kind support. If the new concept raises profit from the monetization of the site, decisions will be then made surrounding whether to share the profit pro rata with bloggers or to donate to a child sexual abuse prevention charity.

It is anticipated that the global conversation on child protection will launch in March 2007. There is no time frame on application for these voluntary jobs. Writers will come and go. Please send this to people you may think will be interested.

For more information, contact me at I’m looking forward to entering into the largest on-line child protection conversation in the world with you.

For application tips, have a look at ProBlogger Darren Rowse' article: How to Apply for a Blog Job

Imaginif supports the

What is Child Protection?

If we turn the phrase ‘Child Protection’ around it becomes ‘Protection [of] child’. Protecting children means stopping them from coming into harm or intervening when you realise a child is in a harmful situation. Very few people will purposely put a child in harms way. Rather, some parents just don not realise that what they are doing is harming their child. Accidents, mistakes and harms happen because these people have failed to protect children. I do acknowledge though that a small minority of people delight in harming our children and it is our job as parents to protect our children from these predators that seek our kids out and try to destroy their lives, their self esteem and their chance of growing up free of abuse.

According to statutory organisations (Police, Welfare bodies, etc) harm could be physical, emotional, sexual or neglect. Within each of these areas of harm there are many different ways that children can be hurt or abused. The parents that I talk with share common concerns around child protection in the areas of, water, fire, poison (includes medications), sun, farm, health, and road safety.

Parents are not only the first safety point in child protection but they are also one of the greatest influences on their children. Parents are a child’s first and best teachers. While searching for some practical information on child protection, I came across a great site ( that offers games, activities and parental advise in protecting children from all manner of potential harms.

This is a short extract from their parent and educators page: Young children learn to talk, walk, and interact by watching their parents. As children grow up, they look to their parents to provide guidance, information, nurturing, and expectations. Even during the teenage years when many parents feel they have little influence over their children’s decisions, teens look to them to determine what’s right and wrong. Teens say that their parents are more influential in their decisions than friends, teachers, coaches, and the news media. For this reason, parents are also the best resource to keep their children safe and healthy. As children look to parents for knowledge and guidance, parents can help children develop the skills they need to make positive choices today and for the rest of their lives.

As a parent, it is your job to educate and keep your child safe from harm. When was the last time you talked about road, water, poison, sun, fire or personal safety? It’s never too late to start and you can never talk about it enough. Let’s get some in-home discussions going about child protection.

If you're interested in protecting your children from harm, I recommend the newsletter from Kidproof Safety.

National Australia Banks on Community

Thumbs up to the National Bank of Australia. Their recently launched Corporate Social Responsibility Report, 2006 , indicates an increase in community investment to 1% of pre-tax profit.

As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, The National Australia Bank is “investing in the local communities in which we operate” and providing “private resources for public good – this is based on a genuine desire to make a meaningful contribution to society.”

Waiving bank fees or charges for financially disadvantaged or charitable entities, releasing staff on full pay for two days voluntary service per year, and community partnerships with staff nominated community groups are only a few of the ways that the National Australia Bank is improving the life of individual families and children.

Spread throughout the world, The National Australia Bank Group provides a comprehensive range of financial products and services organised around three regional businesses: Australia , United Kingdom (Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank) and New Zealand (BNZ). Each of these countries mirror the philosophy of the Corporate Social Responsibilities of the National Australia Bank. This equates to the real winners being global families: communities without borders.

In Australia, an on-line data base of community programs allows employees to find and register for volunteering opportunities. In the UK team challenges encourage groups of bank staff to accomplish a chosen community project in a day. In addition, financial sponsorship of literacy and numeracy programs throughout the UK are well established. New Zealand is less well organised with staff volunteering on an ad-hoc basis. However, it is the ad-hoc response that often provides the most appropriate and needed support to a particular community need. Not to be left out, American staff (nabCapital, New York) last year supported a community pantry that supplies emergency foodstuffs to disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Reaching out and assisting community groups working with child disadvantage, social exclusion, barriers of participation and child abuse has more than a positive effect on a community. You may never know of the sparking moment it has provided to just one family, one child. In years to come, it may be your single day of volunteering that has made the major difference to a child’s life of not staying trapped in inequality and disempowerment.

To read more blogs about the National Australia Bank check out these WordPress Tags.

Thumbs up to the National Australia Bank and The National Australia Bank Group. Congratulations, thank you and keep up your great work. Does anyone else have a supportive comment to offer them?

Baby Rape, Torture and Murder in Cairns.

The rape, torture and subsequent death of a 14-month-old baby girl has left Cairns in shock. Within streets of my own home, the infant girl was left in the care of her mother’s teenage defacto for only a short period.

An Ambulance was called to the address after reports of a baby in distress. The baby was transferred to hospital but died within hours. The Cairns Post reported that there was evidence of a minor head injury but an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

An 18 year old man has been charged with murder, torture and two counts of rape. Under Queensland Law this man cannot be named.

When will our children be safe? When will we all realise that child protection is the concern of all of us. This baby was not raped, tortured or killed at the hands of an unknown stranger. Her mother’s defacto raped, tortured and murdered her.

It is unknown if this child was already under the watchful protective eye of the Department of Child Safety. If she was not, shame on our community for not having bought the plight of a wee child to the attention of the authorities.

This baby and her family must have displayed some elements of having been at risk of harm. Child abuse does not happen in a vacuum. There are signs, indications, dynamics that suggest all is not well. As a community, we may have failed to recognise, report, protect and are therefore guilty of allowing this death to occur.

It is not our job as concerned citizens to investigate child abuse. If we have suspicions or concerns, it is our job, our responsibility to report our concerns. Without reports and clear communication about child safety needs, the statutory authorities can do nothing.

Imagine, that this wee child was only streets from your home. What are you willing to do to make child protection serious business? What are you willing to do to protect the children in your neighbourhood, today, BEFORE a tragedy occurs?

Also see: Adolescent Sexual Offenders and Second Chances.

Revealing Children’s Fashion

Are our children becoming overtly sexualized through fashion? Two interesting sounding papers recently released by The Australain Institute for a Just, Sustainable, Peaceful Future supports so: Corporate Paedophilia: Sexualisation of children in Australia and Letting Children be Children: Stopping the sexualisation of children in Australia .

I stress that I have not yet read these papers but the media release and blog comments surrounding the research has reminded me of years of anecdotal concern from parents of children. Many parents refuse to slave to the fashion industry and dress (or undress) their children as mini Britneys, Keeley Hazells or Tammy Nyps. The parental concerns revolve around enforcing sexualisation of children and turning them into sexual objects.

Children wearing clothes that state “Porn Star” is in my view, a form of abuse. The global community is mostly outraged about peodiphilia and sexual predators tracking and grooming our children, yet too many of us groom our babies to become voyeuristic objects of lust. Of course any body has the right to wear what they want and when they want, but with rights comes responsibility. It is a parents responsibility to look after their children, including minimizing risk of all forms of child abuse.

There’s been a long running and interesting feminist debate about why many women remove hair from their legs, underarms and private parts. One analysis is because we continue to cater to the patriarchal and sexual view of women from men. Apparently, some men prefer their women to look pre pubescent.

Joining the above analysis with the sexualised clothing that some fashion labels create and market as children’s wear, I would have to agree that our children are becoming overtly sexualised through fashion. But…I have the power of choice and I choose not to dress my children in clothing that caters to the financial gain of the fashion industry. More importantly, I choose not to dress my children as voyeuristic candy for those sexual predators that so quickly evil their way into our communities, our lives, our homes. Instead, I have taught my children about protective behaviours, what sexuality is, what sexual development is and what to do if anyone steps over their body space boundary.

Children’s fashion does not have to be revealing or sexualized. Children’s fashion enables a child to do their work: play. Last time I checked, overt and ongoing sex play was not within the normal bounds of childhood development.

Are our children becoming overtly sexualized through fashion? What do you think?

Another fashion article you may want to address: Reuters Knife Dolce & Gabbana

Fone Zone Supports Abused Child Trust

Thumbs up to Fone Zone. Fone Zone is Australia’s largest specialist communications retailer specialising in mobile phones, accessories and wireless data technologies. But, more importantly than that: Fone Zone officially supports the Abused Child Trust.

Trying to track down Isabelle Lucas (Cairns girl and Australian actress: Tasha from Home and Away) for a fund raising initiative for the Abused Child Trust, I inadvertently discovered Fone Zone’s support of child abuse. Thumbs up to Fone Zone. Why not consider supporting them in return by purchasing your communication technology from them.

Many organizations support charity or have sound corporate social responsibility policies and procedures. Many of these organizations also keep their commitments quiet and ask for no recognition in return. While I understand the reasoning behind this, I also value public discourse on child sexual abuse and concerted community support of ending the pandemic curse on society. Support of child abuse charities is something to celebrate, make public and encourage of others.

Should you wish me to blog about your support of a charity that supports abused children, particularly child sexual abuse prevention, please leave a comment including a link and contact details of who I can talk to. Prevalence research supports that one in three female children are sexually abused. Those numbers equate to consumer driven power begging to do something to support ending child abuse themselves. Often unable to be proactive themselves, they may just be willing to support your business because you publicly support child abuse prevention or intervention.

We already purchase our communication technology through Fone Zone. Now that I know they support the Abused Child Trust I may well just have to update my mobile phone.

Congratulations, and thank you Fone Zone.

Australia Week. G’day LA and NY

Australian food, wine, fashion, film, arts, lifestyle, trade and investment, indigenous culture and tourism, the best of Australia says G’day. Promoting awareness and commercial return for both Australian and American interests, Australia Week 2007 sets up camp this week in Los Angeles and New York.

Steve Irwin (killed last September from a sting ray barb to the chest while furthering awareness of Australian marine life), the Croc Hunter, will be missed but honoured, and will receive a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award, while Russell Crowe will receive an honour for his film achievements. A Family Day Concert caters to the Australian appetite of curious families in LA & NY. Australia’s favourite daughter in-law and granddaughter, Terri and Bindi Irwin (Australia Zoo), take to the stage with the Crocmen, and The Wiggles! Bindi Irwin is fastly becoming the face of Australian tourism and what a great job that little Aussie girl is doing.

The Great Aussie Auction, boasting more than 50 Australian holiday experiences is open for you to bid on an Aussie family holiday NOW. With a range of specially designed, unique Australian vacation experience, priced for auction from only $1, get in now and make your dream of an outback Aussie holiday closer to reality that you may have once thought.

Australia Week: G’day LA and NY. Don’t miss out. Check out the program of events to find out which taste of Australia is coming to a place near you.

Some other famous Australians furthering the plight of abused children (please add their names and links in comments so that we have a full and comprehensive list):

Pat Rafter (Tennis): Cherish the Children Foundation

Nicole Kidman (Actress): UNICEF ambassodor.

Shane Warne (Cricket): The Shane Warne Foundation

Geoffrey Rush (Actor): Silent Emergencies Appeal, UNICEF

Ian Thorpe (Swimming): Fountain for Youth.

UPDATE 20.1.06: Bindi Irwin wins them over with her impassioned vow about following her Daddy's work as a Wildlife Warrior. See news story at Bindi, Terri Irwin charm reporters.

Civic Leader Threatens Vigilante Action

Cairns Mayor, Kevin Byrne has threatened to lead a vigilante group and “call to arms” if violence on the streets of Cairns is not dealt with by the Government. Minister for Communities, Warren Pitt, clearly sees violence as a “whole-of-community issue”, not just the responsibility of government. Police call for sense and ask people not to take matters into their own hands because charges of assault will await them. Read the full story in The Weekend Post, January 13, 2007.

Whose responsibility is street violence? My consistent view supports Minister Pitt’s belief. Addressing violence and repeat juvenile crime is the responsibility of all of us. Early intervention, communities of family focus, skill based activities for young people and alternatives of leadership are things we can all act toward if we are serious about making a safe community.

Violence does not beget violence. Sexually abused children do not all grow up to become sexual predators. Many make choices to not enact their own traumas. Physically abused children do not all grow up to be domestic violence perpetrators or street thugs. They make choices to not subject others to the way they were abused as children. But, frustration, poverty, disempowerment and fear do act as contagions of violence. These are the issues that whole of community can work on.

Cairns City Council states that Cairns is the “safest tropical destination in the world. Really? The Far Northern Police region reports the highest rate of sexual offences in Queensland and Cairns is oft reported in local media as a violent and unsafe city. Mayor Byrne's call to action confuses me. He advertises Cairns as the “safest tropical destination in the world" and encourages community engagement as a two way street, yet he calls for citizen vigilante action. Is he perhaps suffering the contagions of violence?

Can Cairns can violence? Yes, if we all pull together. I’ve had enough too. I want tougher sentences for repeat offenders. I want to live here and I want our children to be safe. However, I will not support Mayor Byrne in his threat of violent vigilante action. Safety is a community responsibility and violence is hardly responsible or a sign of evolved problem solving.

Thumbs down to both the thugs who terrorise and to our civic leader for encouraging further violence. I’m still deciding if I’ll rename our esteemed civic leader as Mayor Burn or Knight Mare. Which do you prefer and why?

Black Collar Crime: Clergy Abuse

“Forgive me Father for I have sinned.” How many times around the world have these, or words like these, been uttered by children sexually abused by clergy? How many times do these children need to confess their sins? Never. The sins are not theirs. The sins belong to the despicable people who hide behind God and sprout His will while they perpetrate heinous crimes against their flock.

Sexual abuse is an act of power. Incest generally carries heavier sentences because of the abuse of power and trust perpetrated by a trusted head of a family. How about abuse perpetrated by clergy, head of their places of worship? Far too often and for far too long, churches have closed ranks around their brethren and dealt with clergy abuse in their own way. How incestuous is that. Behind closed doors, they again screw over the ones who dared to say anything.

In response to continuous claims of clergy abuse, both the Catholic and Anglican churches in Australia have finally taken note. However, change did not begin until a non-profit, non-denominational organization, Broken Rites, began operation in 1993. Broken Rites publicized a telephone hotline for survivors. They began receiving calls from thousands of people (mostly Catholics), alleging cases of church covered up clergy sex-abuse.

Today, the Catholic Church’s “Towards Healing” process and pathways of care finally include prosecution (infrequently) of pedophilic clergy, compensation, out of court payouts and gag clauses for the victims. Often the sexually predatory priests are moved to a different parish: a parish unarmed with the alleged sins of their loving pastoral carer, a parish where our children become food for the powerfully lustful appetites of these deceitful heavenly devils.

Thumbs up, to Broken Rites for taking Corporate Social Responsibility regarding Clergy abuse to the positive extreme. I give you your dues. And speaking of Jews…

Long persecuted and often ostracized because of their beliefs, the long suffering yet tenacious Jews are not cleansed of clergy abuse either. In a similar vein to Broken Rites, child sexual abuse by perpetrating swine is made transparent through the commendable actions of Jewish individuals and groups:

JTA News has just released an excellent exclusive investigative series, Reigning in Abuse, addressing a balanced and harm focused policy view of what has happened, what is happening and what has to happen to become rid of Jewish clergy sexual misconduct.

Thumbs up to JTA for airing the black cloth hiding in Jewish wardrobes. Previously unaware of your News Service, you have now won me over as an interested reader. Well done and thank you for helping survivors of Jewish clergy abuse.

In Australia, there is no statute of limitation (time frame) for reporting child sexual abuse to the police. If you were abused five, ten, twenty, forty years ago, you can still report it. It makes no difference if the abuser was a family friend, an unknown person, a parent or clergy. Child Sexual Abuse is AGAINST THE LAW and the perpetrators are the ones to blame, not you. Lift the silence and break their ultimate abuse of power over you. Tell Someone.

I am unsure of the statute of limitations around child sexual abuse in other countries. Can somebody help here by leaving a comment please?

In a short, creative story, Dear God, a prayer from an innocent, sexually abused by her Clergy Uncle, portrays the confusion felt by children sexually abused by God-fearing people. On your day of worship, please spare a thought, prayer or affirmation for those people who have fallen prey to black collar crimeClergy abuse.

Clergy abuse is despicable. I leave you with a quote from a 20-year-old female: “Of all the people, you would think you could trust some-one like that.”

Business is Protection. Moving Here.

Business is Protection (A site about all business protection issues, including how business can help protect children) is being deleted. My partner, an accountant with a strong social justice principal, intended to write articles focused on business protection from a corporate social responsibility view point. Corporate life took over and unable to find time to write articles, we have decided to close his blog site down.

Corporate Social Responsibility is already one of Child Protection: Serious Business' focus areas so I am moving the only entries from Business is Protection here.

The Business of Waiting (2)

In defense of Paul Martin: he is in the business of life. An accountant, a business consultant, Imaginif book keeper, a loving partner and a step father to four, he is somewhat busy at the moment. While waiting for a corporate life pause that will allow Paul to write regular business protection articles, I thought I might as well link to business articles that I have already posted at Helium. I appreciate that my articles are no where near as good as his most excellent musings, but they are nonetheless an attempt at getting him to mind my business by providing protective business pieces that I just cannot measure up to.

This is my second Helium article:
Business plan: Staying true to your vision


The Business of Waiting (1).

While waiting for a corporate pause that will allow Paul to write his business articles, I thought I might as well link to a business article that I have already written at Helium.
Finding a company to buy your business ideas.

Islamic Leader Claims Rape Victims Share Responsibility

Australian Islamic leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali ridicules nation of convicts and suggests that Australian women and children should share the blame for acts of sexual violence against them. In October 2006, the leader of Australian Muslims created an outrage with his raping comment comparing "women who wore make-up and dressed immodestly to meat that attracted cats."

Now, in self imposed exile in his birth land of Egypt, the shrieking sheik suggests that he has more right to live in Australia than the decedents of colonial convicts. He claims that because he paid for his passport he has a greater right to reside here.

Referring to the English as the biggest liars of all Westerners, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, is at risk of alienating two countries: Australia and England. Having lived and worked in both countries, my professional experience informs that crimes of a sexual nature are considered serious crimes and breaches of human rights in both countries.

The Mufti’s position allows him many rights and responsibilities. I wish he’d exercise them. Sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and rape are against the law in the West, including both England and Australia. Under the criminal code, the perpetrators of sexual offenses are FULLY responsible.

No matter what a woman or child wears they are never responsible for what a sexually deviant person does to them. Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali’s suggestion that “Australian law guarantees freedoms to the point of insanity" is partially correct. He’s allowed to re-enter our country because he is an Australian citizen and he has the right to sprout archaic, inflammatory and oppressive statements of patriarchy as the spiritual leader of his Australian people. Thank goodness many of them are smarter and more spiritually advanced than he is.

Thumbs down to Mufti Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali. His comments supporting rapists make him a domestic terrorist in my view. A metaphorical incestuous head of his family, Australia would be a better place without him.

What’s your views?

Reuters Knife Dolce & Gabbana

Advertising watchdog, Reuters, has metaphorically knifed coveted fashion house Dolce & Gabanna. In a 2007 fashion campaign Dolce & Gabanna take “life imitating art” one cut too far. Recreating the early 19th century Napoleonic period of art, Dolce & Gabanna defended themselves by claiming that their fashion images emphasized the theatrical effects of the genre.

Advertisements of gun and knife wielding male and female models (including models with gun shots to their forehead and chest) in a Napoleonic gangland warfare genre do little to encourage world peace and child safety. Dolce & Gabanna are in a perfect position to use their corporate social responsibility in a way that few of us can. Their market profit, influence and trend setting style could positively market child abuse prevention. Instead, they have inadvertently condoned violence and provided a message that wearing their clothes makes you tough: a killer.

The sexually provocative ad history of Dolce & Gabanna concerns me. These current visual graphics of trendy, beautiful people weilding knives and guns, threatening others and supporting injured peers, may send a message that sex with violence can be beautiful and trendy. When forced on another person, sex with violence is totally unacceptable, against the law and deserves the harshest penalities measured.

Thumbs down to Dolce & Gabbana. They have not displayed corporate social responsibility in this instance. I was going to replace my sunglasses this week and a beautiful Dolce & Gabbana pair were my choice. Because of this irresponsible advertising campaign, I will not now buy Dolce & Gabbana.

On an up note, a local, male, radio announcer suggested that perhaps the models should have been given a fork because they all look like they need a good meal. Well done to him. His comment aided the plight of people struggling with eating disorders and the insane belief that real people look like Dolce & Gabbana models. How fantastic to have a normal bloke speak out and indicate that model art is not model life.

Child abuse prevention requires effort from all of us, even from marketing campaigns designed to increase sales, profit and set fashion trend.

Corporate Social Responsibility is not fashionable but it is smart, stylish and well performing.

I’d like to hear about small business: the people who act out their corporate social responsibility without realizing what it is. Feel free to share a story about how you, or somebody else, contributes toward child abuse prevention. I look forward to reading your comments.

Woolworths National Drought Action Day January 23, 2007.

Giant grocery store, Woolworths, are in the business of taking their Corporate Social Responsibility seriously. On January 23, 2007, the fresh food people will donate 100% of that day’s supermarkets profit to help Australian farming families in need.

The Woolworths Fresh Future Children's Hospital Appeal has long soothed the deficits in Health funding and now they move into soothing the pain of drought by providing needed financial relief. This is corporate social responsibility at its best.

Congratulations to this Australian retail giant for supporting our kids and families in the outback. The bulk of money raised will go to the Country Women’s Association with the remainder allocated to sustainable agricultural research projects.

Shop at any Woolworths supermarket on January 23, 2007 and help Australia advance a fair and more sustainable approach to farming family life.

Topical Whensday: When Child Sexual Abuse Replaces Saddam, Britney and MySpace.

When Child Sexual Abuse replaces Saddam, Britney and MySpace in the top 10 search lists, will life be more protective for our children?

Child Sexual Abuse prevention and help appears to have a low public profile. Many a night I have unintentionally ended a dinner party by talking about Child Sexual Abuse (guests don’t know what to say about it). Many a time I have been told, I am preaching (and yes, I admit I preach. I’m trying to change that). Many a time I have been told that Child Sexual Abuse doesn’t really happen, that it is a research topic for bored academics. Many a time I have sat and listened to the heart wrenching stories from children affected by sexual abuse and their concerns that nobody cares about them. Many a time have I been ridiculed, threatened and ostracized because I fight for the rights of child protection.

A list compiled by My Digital Life nicely categorizes the top 10 searches of 2006. Child Sexual Assault is not on the list. In my experience, GoogleAds attracted to Child Sexual Abuse pages appear to be low payers: advertisers know they cannot make money out of Child Sexual Abuse because it’s hardly a trendy or popular topic.

Is this because Child Sexual Abuse is a dirty word, a figment of our non-academic imaginations or because no one should profit from Child Sexual Abuse? I don’t know the answer and I’m very interested in your thoughts. What I do know through professional experience is that child sexual abuse is both rampant and under valued. With prevalence rates as high as one in three children affected by sexual abuse a lot of consumers already know the importance of funding, supporting and raising the advertising time around child sexual abuse prevention and help.

In Child uses Google to get out of sexual abuse, Melly nicely highlights the usefulness of search engines as a child protection tool. When Child Sexual Abuse finds its way onto the top 10 searches, will it be even easier for our kids at risk because their plight has finally grabbed the attention of the world?

Perhaps someone way more techno savvy than me could explain what would happen if each of us entered, daily, “child sexual abuse” into a search engine (I use Google and Technorati). Would this help to make child sexual abuse public by getting it into the top 10 search list? Would this raise the profile of child sexual abuse in the eyes of a public who do mostly care but are unsure what to do to help? I do appreciate that millions of genuine searches would be needed but perhaps this is an easy start place for raising the profile of the prevention of child sexual abuse. If you want to know something about Child Sexual Abuse, please try a Google search and help make the search term "Child Sexual Abuse" more visible.

What’s your thoughts? When will you be prepared to have Child Sexual Abuse replace Saddam, Britney or MySpace?

Read previous Topical Whensday articles here.

For Survivors of Sexual Violence. has started a new, interactive discussion on healing. Lisa is posting a strengths based question each day.

This is a GREAT way for survivors of sexual violence to share their tenacity, their passion and their creativity.

Don’t be shy, join in. It doesn't matter what country you live in, what your current circumstances are, or who your perpetrator was. This is your chance to celebrate YOUR survival. Not everything's about you, but this sure is.

Imaginif...there was a world without child sexual abuse.

Photo courtesy of CSP at SXC Photo Exchange.

Corporate Social Responsibility.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):a concept that suggests that commercial corporations have a duty of care to all of their stakeholders in all aspects of their business operations.” But, is it just a concept? I suggest not. CSR is a way of being, a working and ongoing commitment to not only people who use your business services but rather to people you may never meet. CSR is business acumen delivered in an ethical and socially responsible manner.

The global monolith of semantics, McDonalds, has a CSR blog. Good for them. Impressive and interactive, I would encourage supportive comments on their blogs. Is there anyone not familiar with the fantastic service that Ronald McDonald Houses offer to sick children and their families? Even though I am not a McDonald’s food lover, I will support their fund raising efforts because they assist children.

The Body Shop, releases staff to do voluntary work in the community and they fund raise to support children and young people affected by domestic violence and abusive relationships. This is their CSR in action. I purchase their fundraising products not because I need the items but because I aim to support them support our community.

The prevalence rate of sexual abuse is as high as one in three. Shocking, horrific and unacceptable. However, if one in three of your potential customers is affected by sexual violence it would make good business sense to enact your CSR and dynamically support filling the huge gap in corporate support for sexual assault prevention and treatment.

Some academics find CSR distasteful. Their views oscillate around business is in the market of business, not in the market of government responsibility. Criticisms of business focused utilitarian actions and advertising gimmicks to draw more customers and profit are leveled at those daring to step into CSR. Certainly when I was a student social worker I struggled to understand how rich women, spending thousands on themselves to attend an expensive fund raising dinner for a cause could bring any lasting social benefit. It does! Most big business people have no time to volunteer but they may have disposable income and a yearning to be in the social set. Each to their own and if they can use their own needs and social standing to help others, so be it.

Social responsibility is not only the business of government. Child protection is the business of every single person. Child protection is serious business and those businesses serious about their CSR may do well to consider what they are doing to help protect the world’s upcoming consumers.

Do you know of any big business whose CSR supports people affected by sexual violence? Please, leave the name and link so that we can all support these businesses to support our children. The bigger the list, the greater the global support of our children affected by sexual violence.

Imaginif…child protection was serious business!

A related article on attracting male mentors: MEN TORch the Chance of Boys Becoming Non-Violent Men (please note that Big Brother/Big Sister Australia do not support the views in this article and were concerned that their linked association suggests that they share my views on why we cannot attract male mentors. I apologise to them for any concern raised.)

Domestic Violence IS Child Abuse. Story From A Child.

My name is Deidre and I am seven. I like jumping on the trampoline (all the way up to the clouds), watching Saddle Club after school, and sneaking an extra Chocolate Crackle when Mummy and the dandy fairies are not looking.

Mum caught me yesterday arve and now I'm grounded! Them dumb fairies must have told on me. I"m not allowed to watch T.V or to go to Donna's house to play. It sux! At least Mum didn't smack my face like she used to. I hate that.

Mum's not always mean. Sometimes she's so good that she lets me sit in the front seat on the way home from school. I love that. Dad growls at Mum when she does that but, becos he reckons it's illegal and the Cops will take me away. Dumb Government. They hate kids so they make dumb rules to punish us all.

So what dumb thing will I do this afternoon? Mum's busy and she's cranky anyhow. Better to stay away from her. Ill just lie on the grass here and do cloud discovery. Dumb clouds. They all look like horses. I wonder what's on Saddle Club right now?

Hey! What's that tickling my underarm? A dandelion! Pretty. I like them. They make wishes come true becos when you blow them all the little furry bits turn into fairies and race each other to take your wish to the Fairy Queen. The more furry fairies that get there, the bigger the chance that Fairy Queen will make your wish come true.

Blooooooooooo.....look at them fly all over... I dandelion wish that my Mum and Dad didn't fight all the time .

Hey! I hear Daddy's car in the driveway. He's home early. Hooray. Uh oh. He's singing, "Isn't it a Dandy Day." That's bad. That means he got drunked at big lunch and didn't go back to his job. Now he's going to be all feral and there's going to be a big fight. Mum will act like a farocious lion too, and they'll get into it. Hey you dumb fairies! I didn't wish for a Dandy Lion, I just found a dandelion and wished for no fighting. Even the fairies are dumb and feral. That reminds me, I used to see a lady called Megan. She was a feral ferapist. I called her that becos she used to take her shoes off, real feral like, and she was a ferapist.

She told me that when Mum and Dad fight I had to carry out my safety plan. The plan we made up together was to go and sit in the front yard under the Frangipani tree where all them nosey neighbors could see me. It doesn't matter how much Mummy screams when Daddy hits her I am not allowed to go back inside the house. Megan also said that if a Cop car comes they ARE NOT coming to take me away becos I sat in the front seat. They are coming to help me not be scared. But I'm scared now becos Daddy is yelling that he has to tame the lion. This is not dandy so I'd better go out front and sit under the Frangipani tree. Dumb fairies! I hate them now. I wished that my Mum and Dad didn't be fighting all the time.

My name's Deidre and I don't like it when my Daddy hits my Mummy becos I get scared.


To read a creative story on domestic and sexual violence, written from the voice of a young adult, have a look at Nighttime Explored.

Photo courtesy of Madmaven at SXC Photo Exchange. Thank you for such a beautiful picture. My dandelion wish is that all children could be as carefree as the child in the picture.

Sun Safety

Protective Behaviours are about protecting children and adults from all elements of danger. Water, Sun, Poison and Personal safety lie high on the agendas of some Protective Behaviour programs.

Complacency lies high on the agendas of some parents. Receiving rebuffs about the work we do is common ground for workers attempting to protect children from sexual assault. Many parents seem to think there is no need to talk about personal safety with their children. Safe in their own families, parents become complacent and do not risk manage around protective behaviours.

I am no different. My children have grown up with the fear around yet another of my boring comments: Sunburn is sun damage. The Slip, Slap, Slop program has been instilled into my children from its day of inception. Yet still, I became complacent and yesterday I allowed my body to be abused by the cruel tropical sun. Boy and partner were fine. They spent the entire day snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, protected by sun and stinger suits with regular slatherings of SPF 30+ sun screen.

While rubbing moisturizer into my burnt body, partner suggested that it was irresponsible for a protective behaviour consultant to allow sun abuse. I agree. I failed and today I am hurting. I will heal though and I pray that I haven’t allowed melanoma to invade my protected space.

None of us can afford to become complacent around personal safety. Our children may well be safe with us but it takes only one other person to zero in on our child, to sexually abuse them, for a life time of hurt, confusion and betrayal to stay embedded in the hearts and minds of our child.

Protective Behaviours in the sun is very important. As you place a hat or sun screen on your child, spare a thought for how you are going to protect your child from the cancer of child sexual abuse. If you’re looking for some simple play ideas of how to protectively play, visit Toys, Books and Games Protect Kids.

Related Great Barrier Reef marine species articles by an 11 year old home school boy (my son):
Turtle Facts.
Starfish are Echinoderms

Adolescent Sexual Offenders and Second Chances.

Should adolescent sexual offenders get a second chance? In Gary Hughes Blog at The Australian, he asks an interesting question: How tough should we be on young offenders?
I have followed the debate with interest and I threw my opinion in. But…I have had a restless night pondering whether adolescent sex offenders should be given a second chance.

There is substantial evidence suggesting that sex offences, particularly those perpetrated by adolescents, follow a scale of escalation. My own experience as a sexual assault therapist echoes this. The secrecy and power dynamic that envelopes child sexual abuse makes it difficult to catch the adolescent sexual offenders first time around. It is not generally until they have committed an overtly violent and visible act, like rape, that they are caught and given either the assistance they need to learn new behaviours, or, they experience youth detention and all the negative learning that goes with it.

Surely then we all need to work toward lifting the secrecy. If we can somehow give our children a voice, to allow them to talk about what is happening to them, adolescent sexual offenders may well receive intervention and treatment prior to their sexual offending behaviours escalating.

Is it too late for a second chance once an adolescent has raped a child or adult? What do you think?

Tatts and Tiaras. Valentine's Day of Tough Love.

Show Some Heart This Valentine’s Day (February 14). Help children who have experienced the opposite of love: child abuse.

The Abused Child Trust is an independent charitable organisation that helps families keep children safe through therapy, education, research and advocacy.

Tatts and Tiaras Day is the Abused Child Trust’s biggest annual campaign – raising vital funds to help abused and neglected children in your community. You can help by registering as a supporter to help sell their special merchandise in your workplace, school or retail outlet. It’s easy and it’s fun!

The Tatts and Tiaras merchandise kit includes specially-designed tattoos, tiaras, pens, pins and bracelets – they’ll send you a kit when you register. And, you don’t have to wait til Valentine’s Day - you can start selling your merchandise as soon as it’s received.

Tatts and Tiaras Day is a day to celebrate. Celebrate your appreciation of keeping kids safe by planning a special event at work, school or with friends. Have a tough love day and proudly wear your tatts to show how tough you are about ending child abuse. Encourage everyone to dress up in their best frocks, tiaras, suits and tattoos – and charge them a nominal fee to attend. The fund raising all goes back to the Abused Child Trust to help families and children in your local area. What a great way to help 2007 children in 2007.

For more information and to get involved visit the site of Tatts and Tiaras.

Looking for some other simple and non time consuming ways to support abused children? Check this list out. Many of the ideas cost nothing.

Topical Whensday: When to Support Ending Child Sexual Assault

Child Sexual Assault must cease. It is a shame to our modern, evolved world that some people use sex as a weapon of power against our children. It is a greater shame that many of us do not know what or when we can do something helpful to fight against the social curse of child sexual abuse.

During 2007, I urge you to assist at least 2007 people affected by child abuse. With prevalence figures like one in three, it is not difficult to help 2007 people in 2007. You do not need to know these people and you will get no return other than knowing that you have helped to improve the life of people affected by a hideous crime. This is a fantastic return, far greater than real estate or stock exchange can ever produce.

Don’t wait until a person tells you they are a survivor of child sexual abuse. The majority of people never tell their secret. When to support ending Child Sexual Abuse is now: today, before you even know anybody affected. The more we support the cause and the more we talk about it, the easier it will be for men, women and children to disclose. Disclosure leads to sexual predators thinking twice about abusing our kids.

Every month this year, undertake to do a simple action that will have multiple impact on ending Child Sexual Abuse. Here are 12 ideas to get you started.

1. Donate used clothing, toys, books, trinkets, or household items to charities that assist families made homeless through sexual assault or family violence.

2. Save your small coins in a single container and donate to a child-focused charity at the end of 2007. On January 1, we began putting all of our five cent coins in a vase and will donate to the Abused Child Trust. The vase sits near our front door and I’ll be encouraging visitors to also make a small coin donation.

3. Teach your children Protective Behaviours and have open conversations in your home about the importance of telling someone if anyone touches or scares your child.

4. Set up a small monthly donation to a child-focused charity. Five dollars per month may not be missed from your budget but $5.00 x 12 = $60.00.

5. Support a business that supports Child Sexual Abuse.

6. Save Motel soaps and shampoos and donate to a rape crisis centre.

7. Contact a Rape Crisis Centre and ask what they need for people who have just been raped. Following the medical examination, many people who have been raped lose their clothing to evidence. Underwear, shirts and shoes take a large chunk of a helping service’s budget.

8. Buy and read a book (fiction or non-fiction) about child sexual abuse. Stepping into a survivors shoes helps to firm your commitment to ending sexual abuse.

9. Talk with a person who has been sexually abused. Find out about their life. Ask what you could do to improve their situation. Find a way to help them.

10. Ask clubs you are involved in to hold a fund raiser for the prevention of child sexual abuse.

11. Link to sites or blogs about child sexual abuse. The more people who publicly say they support ending child sexual abuse, the faster the sexual predators will get the message that their behaviour is wrong.

12. Leave 12 comments on blogs about sexual abuse. When survivors see no comments, they wrongly think that nobody cares about sexual abuse. Show survivors that you do care and that you are willing to help them have a voice. Start here. Leave a comment. Many of my survivor clients read this blog.

When to Support Ending Child Sexual Assault? Start today.

Other Topical Whensday articles:

Topical Whensday: When Will YOU Tee On to Cause an Effect?

Topical Whensday: When will YOU wear a Colored Tee to Recognize Violence Against Women and Children.

Topical Whensday: When will children be visible?

Topical Whensday: When will you help a child with HIV/AIDS?

Topical Whensday: When Will Your Yes Mean Yes and Your No Mean No.

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