Lifestyle

Project KidSafe – Help Stop Child Abuse

Child abuse is a topic to no one seems to want to talk about. Unfortunately, it's that exact silence that is enabling this epidemic to continue. Our refusal to acknoweldge the horror that exists in our own neighborhoods is what enables young children to continue suffering, often keeping their abuse a secret for years. 

Current statistics state that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be abused by the time they are 16. What makes this statistic even  more heartbreaking is the fact that the majority of perpetrators are someone that the child knows. This often makes speaking up difficult for the child, as they are scared of creating conflict, getting in trouble or getting hurt. They are silenced and they suffer alone. Years, decades even lifetimes of abuse and secrets, destroying a childhood and consequently impacting their adult lives. 

What is Project KidSafe?

Project KidSafe foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that aims educate every single family of the reality of child sexual abuse. Project KidSafe knows that it's all well and good to teach children in schools stranger danger, but what about when it's the next door neighbour? Their uncle, aunt, babysitter, soccer coach? What do they do then? Children need to be educated on what to do if they are feeling at risk, no matter who the person is. Parents, families, teachers need to understand as well.

Children aren't going to use their voice if they're scared they wont be heard. We need to allow children to understand that if they feel they're being abused, they wont be causing trouble, breaking the rules and they most definitely wont be at risk if they tell someone. Lack of this education and understanding is what forced me to remain silent, not only while I was being abused, but for nearly 7 years after the abuse stopped. It took me years of suffering in silence to find my voice, and I need to use my voice to stop other children suffering the same fate. 

Currently CEO of Project KidSafe, Nikki Wells, is filming a documentary of her journey to stop child abuse. Razing Hell tells Nikki's story as she tells her parents of the abuse, as her perpetrator is charged and as she takes a stand to stop child abuse. Nikki posess an incredible ability to share her unstoppable can-do attitude and  quick witted sense of humor. She is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and her passion for her foundation is inspirational beyond words. I've never met someone quite like Nikki! Yet, Razing Hell also shows another side of Nikki. The vulnerable nine-year-old who was abused by her priest. To be able to gain such an insight into her resilience and her journey is humbling. Razing Hell film shares that with all of you. Unfortunately though, to produce the film, we need your help. We need you to do everything in your power to spread the word. Even a contribution as small as $1 will help Nikki's dream become a reality.  

What else can you do?

  •  Help educate everyone around you – spread information amongst your family and friends. 
  •  Help our Razing Hell campaign by visiting www.indiegogo.com/razinghell, even a $1 contribution helps so much! 
  •  Tell everyone who might be interested in helping out. Share this page in an email, on facebook or twitter. 

What to do if you suspect child abuse

Always remember that you may be the only person who can stop a child being abused. Some tips on what you should do if you suspect abuse are:

  •  Respond immediately
  •  Report your suspicions to the police immediately
  •  Contact your state/territory authorities who take these reports and investigate
  •  Take the child to a GP or hospital
  •  Do NOT approach the offender or try to talk to them about your suspicions

The Project KidSafe website has stacks more helpful information on what to do if you suspect child abuse or to help raise awareness. Awareness is key – help us to shed the light on child abuse.

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Lucy Gilkison

Lucy Gilkison is a 19 year old nursing student living in Sydney, Australia. She aspires to work in pediatrics/adolescent mental health when she graduates. Spending most of her time reading or writing, she thrives on any opportunity to build on her ideas and opinions. Currently recovering from severe depression, bulimia nervosa and an anxiety disorder, she's passionate about raising awareness of mental health and reducing the stigma.
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