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Government should honour its promise to protect children from abuse

The ACT government should honour its commitment to arm first-time parents and primary caregivers in Canberra with ‘safety packs’ in its upcoming budget, Shadow Minister for Families Youth and Community Services Elizabeth Kikkert said.

In March this year, the government agreed to the Canberra Liberals’ motion that parents and caregivers should be given safety packs with information on how to identify signs of child sexual abuse.

Safety packs would help parents recognise offender tactics, risky situations and signs of child sexual abuse if it is happening. The packs would also help parents respond to suspected abuse and actual discovery of abuse.

The government committed to working with nationally recognised and accredited organisations to deliver safety packs to all first-time parents and caregivers in Canberra.

“Talking about child sexual abuse is not easy,” Mrs Kikkert said.

“But we need to have these conversations to protect our children and give them every opportunity at a happy childhood.

“Unfortunately, research shows that many parents don’t know how to spot the warning signs of abuse.

“Nationally recognised organisations already have the information that parents need to spot abuse and protect their children.

“It would only cost the government around $180,000 per year to honour its commitment and put this vital information into the hands of families of every newborn. It would cost much less if safety packs were only given first-time parents and caregivers.

“Families are the first line of defence for children and this small investment would easily pay for itself many times over by preventing tragedies.

“The government should honour its commitment and include funding for safety packs in its upcoming budget,” Mrs Kikkert concluded.


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