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Thursday, 11 September 2003

Child Protection is Everyone's Business

The Child Protection Unit at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick recently supported National Child Protection Week 2003. This week is the major annual activity of NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) and begins on Fathers' Day each year.

This year's theme is 'Child Protection is Everyone's Business - Help Stop Child Abuse'.

The main aim of National Child Protection Week 2003 is to raise awareness of what everyone can do to ensure children in the community are not at risk of being abused and/or neglected.

Other aims are to share knowledge about early indicators of concern, to reinforce the importance of parents, carers and professionals increasing their competence and confidence in communicating directly with children that may be at risk.

Child abuse affects the whole community, not just the child and family involved. It may involve people:
* physically and/or emotionally abusing a child;
* neglecting a child; and/or
* sexually abusing a child.

Terry Manns, Manager, Child Protection Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, said today that children who have been harmed quite often experience physical injuries, emotional distress and social and behavioural problems as a result.

'This represents an enormous cost to the child and to the community. Child maltreatment damages the prospects of children being able to experience a safe and healthy development into adulthood, yet too often people say it is none of their business.

'This year's campaign seeks to challenge that view, and to encourage people to do what they can to protect children,' said Mr Manns.

It is everyone's responsibility to ensure that children know it is never OK to hurt others. Ends

For Further Information Contact:

Jenni Corbett, Public Affairs Officer, Tel: 9382 1983

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