National Child Protection Week is a campaign held annually across Australia to raise awareness of child abuse prevention.
The objectives of the week are to raise the profile of all issues connected with child protection. Protecting children from sexual exploitation is a whole of community responsibility.
The AFP will continue to be involved in this important campaign under its mandate of reducing the incidence and impact of aggravated online child sexual exploitation and Australians travelling for the purposes of offending against children.
It is timely to remind parents and carers that they need to have age appropriate conversations with their children about personal safety and what to do if they find themselves in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Make children aware that unwanted touching by anyone (family, friends or strangers) is not OK and they have the right to say NO.
National Child Protection Week also aims to create an Australia-wide focus for child protection, allowing government and non-government agencies to present a cooperative and coordinated community oriented campaign.
When a child is abused, the physical and mental pain can last a lifetime. Sadly, according to the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) over 35,000 Australian children were abused last year.
If you have been abused or have any information relating to the abuse or exploitation of children, report it immediately.
Technology has given our children new opportunities for social interactions, and most importantly, more ways to learn about the world and express themselves.
However, there are also challenges faced by our children online that we need to talk to them about. These include online grooming, cyber bullying, online reputation management and sharing of images.
The ThinkUKnow cyber safety program provides presentations for both students and adults. It helps bridge the gap between parents, carers and teachers to explain what young people: SEE, SAY and DO online.
The program is delivered in partnership with the AFP, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Datacom and Microsoft Australia, and in collaboration with all state and territory police and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia. This enables a whole-of-community approach, driven through the lens of technology and real police experience.
By educating and empowering our children to be safe, respectful and resilient online, we can help minimise the risk of things going wrong online.
The best way to understand what your children are doing online is to ASK them about what they are SEEING, SAYING and DOING online. For more information go to www.thinkuknow.org.au.