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September 2010
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Everybody’s responsibility to protect children

The stark reality of child abuse was highlighted this month with Child Protection Week (5-11 September).

The week reminds us protecting children is everyone’s responsibility, says Detective Inspector George Fa’alogo, manager of Violence Reduction at the Crime Service Centre.

Police services across Australia and New Zealand worked to raise awareness of child abuse and how it can be prevented. In New Zealand, police deal with 5000-6000 child abuse cases every year.

Last year, members of the public were concerned enough about a child’s safety to make 125,000 notifications to Child Youth and Family. Of those, 21,000 cases were confirmed as abuse or neglect.

Those children now have to overcome a range of emotional, psychological or physical consequences.

There is no excuse for beating, abusing or neglecting our children, says George.

“No child’s life should begin this way. Every child has the right to grow up in a safe and supportive family, free from harm and fear and to have opportunities that help them to reach their full potential.

“The most serious effects are likely to occur when no-one intervenes to stop the harm and protect the child or young person.”

Early identification of cases is key to providing appropriate support and recovery, and to prevent further harm.

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