It’s Time to Take Responsibility – #MeToo
20 February 2018 at 8:25 am
Now is the time for professional associations and individuals to educate themselves on what they need to do to be ready, writes the Child Abuse Prevention Service (CAPS) ahead of the Safe Children Conference 2018.
The #MeToo movement has raised the public awareness of sexual abuse by people in positions of power. We all need to advocate for change! The movement has highlighted that sexual abuse is widespread in our society. From celebrities, political leaders, corporate leaders, university staff and students as well as people in our institutions that look after children, the disabled and the elderly.
In the wake of the findings of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) 2017 national report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities, a number of universities have introduced mandatory courses on sexual consent for new students. The introduction of Consent Matters has met with criticism from groups that claim the online module is tokenistic and unlikely to be effective, and that it has not been evaluated.
Mr Jeff Taylor, general manager of the Child Abuse Prevention Service (CAPS), commends the universities response to the concerns, stating all organisations need to build awareness and responses. He says “education programs need to begin in the family home, in childcare and preschool settings in an age appropriate manner and continue throughout life”. CAPS provides this type of education for parents, childcare workers, educators and children.
This point of view is backed by the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse includes recommendations for “the establishment of a national strategy to prevent child sexual abuse” (6.1), and “prevention education delivered through preschool, school and other community institutional settings” (6.2b) to increase knowledge and build practical skills and self-protective strategies. It also recommends “prevention education for parents delivered through daycare, preschool, schools, sport and recreation settings and other institutional and community settings” (6.3).
The first steps to changing behaviour is awareness and education.
“As part of this movement toward social awareness and education CAPS will be hosting the Safe Children Conference on 2 March in Sydney where Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM will discuss the findings of the royal commission and what they mean for our sector, our country and ultimately our children,’’ Mr Taylor said.
Other speakers will be the Hon Minister Dan Tehan, Janet Schorer, NSW children guardian; Julie Inman Grant, Australian e-safety commissioner; Steve Kinmond, deputy ombudsman; Lisa Flynn, the national practice leader of Shine Lawyers’ Abuse Law Practice; and Cathy Lovell head of school services AISNSW, to name a few.
Now is the time for professional associations and individuals to educate themselves on what they need to do to be ready. Change needs to happen and is happening, there is no going back.
The recommendations will effect change in legislation, education, support services and any organisation that works with or has contact with children.
Only 10 days to go to register. Don’t miss out!
Safe Children Conference 2018
2 March 2018 – International Convention Centre Darling Harbour Sydney
Find out more information https://www.safechildren.org.au