As we prepare to bid 2008 farewell, let’s take a moment to reflect on the year that was…
- Following a series of meetings with interested people which began in late 2007, the Children’s Safety Australia Management Committee was established in March 2008.
- In April we received our Certificate of Incorporation and in May we were recognised by the ATO as a registered charitable institution.
- In June we launched our website, thanks to the fantastic work of Michaela Wright, owner/director of Wright Side of the Brain.
- Our wonderful Advisory Committee was formed in July and continue to provide valuable support and assistance.
- In July and August we conducted a series of free Children’s Safety Workshops for parents/carers, teachers and other interested adults around south-east Queensland.
- In September we launched our inaugural edition of Safe Start our quarterly enewsletter.
- In September we also submitted our first grant application to provide children’s safety kits to Queensland primary schools. We look forward to reporting back on the status of this application in the next edition of Safe Start.
- The last few months have seen more progress on the interactive children’s safety book for primary students we have been preparing in conjunction with our sister organisation, Personal Safety Australia. We look forward to releasing this book in 2009.
- Just today (11 December) we have been advised that CSA Inc. has been accepted on the National Harms Prevention Register, giving us deductible gift recipient status. Now is the perfect time to make a donation that will make a lasting impact on children's safety and wellbeing.
On behalf of our Management Committee and Advisory Committee, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope that 2009 is your happiest, safest and most prosperous yet!
President, Children's Safety Australia Inc.
Self esteem is the foundation of psychological health. Without it children simply aren't able to build the happy, productive life we envision for them. Self esteem also has a direct impact on children’s ‘people safety’. Research indicates children with high self esteem are less likely to be targeted by child sex offenders and, if targeted, are more likely to resist and report the abuse. Children with high self esteem are also better equipped to manage and overcome other threats to their safety.
While everyone may agree on the importance of self esteem, what is it exactly?
Self-esteem is simply the way we feel about ourselves - how much we value our own inner qualities. A person with high self-esteem is confident, generally optimistic, and considers the world a good place to be.
Here are a few other characteristics of someone who has high self-esteem:
- solves (rather than avoids or denies) problems
- sees mistakes as learning experiences
- has the ability to trust people
- takes reasonable risks
- lives life independently
- understands and is able to express feelings and emotions in positive ways
- enjoys meeting new people and making new friends
- is cooperative
- accepts and give compliments
No one is born with self-esteem. It is heavily influenced by the significant people in our lives, particularly during the early years of childhood. Experts generally agree that the first five years of a child's life are the most critical in the development of self-esteem. The messages children receive from age one to five will greatly determine their level of self-esteem for the rest of their lives.
Early Childhood Australia Inc. have a range of articles on self esteem and confidence on their website www.earlychild hoodaustralia.org.au. Several of these are linked below providing some very useful information for parents, teachers and other concerned adults:
Building self esteem in young children
Common questions and answers about self esteem and children in an easy to read format. This article details how parents and caregivers can support and build positive self esteem and self confidence in young children.
Components of high self esteem
There are many characteristics of healthy self esteem. This brief article details the characteristics that adults should aim to develop in all children, including confidence, self discipline and self control.
Signs of low self esteem and ways to help
This two page article seeks to help parents and caregivers to determine whether a child has low self esteem. It also details ways to boost or build a child's positive sense of self and self esteem.
Nurturing a positive self esteem
Young children's self esteem is shaped by their early experiences: beginning with trust in the adults who care for them, and having a supportive and safe environment to explore independently.
Parenting with Wisdom 2008, Self-Esteem: Who Do You Think You Are? (online). Available: http://www.parentingwithwisdom.com/selfesteem.html. [Accessed 10 December 2008)
Early Childhood Australia Inc. 2008, Self esteem and confidence (online). Available: www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.ua/emotional_ foundations_for_learning/building... [Accessed 10 December 2008].
Many adults are unaware of the prevalence of child offenders of sexual abuse. It is estimated one third of all incidents of child sexual abuse is committed by another child or young person. Studies have also identified that the vast majority of sex offenders will begin offending before the age of 20, with 20 percent offending under the age of 10, and 43 percent between 10 – 15 years of age 1. Sibling sexual abuse is particularly widespread, with studies suggesting it is the most common form of child abuse.
Sexual abuse perpetrated by another child or young person is as traumatic as any other form of sexual abuse and has a lasting impact on the victim. However, in spite of this, child-perpetrated sexual abuse is more likely to be overlooked, normalised and discounted by families and the wider community. This minimisation by others can mean that survivors themselves are less likely to view their experiences as abuse and also find it more difficult to talk about.
This information available via the below link has been produced by Maria Burke (2005) and has been designed to provide information for parents and carers concerning sibling abuse and child on child sexual abuse. In addition to seeking emotional support the most frequent questions asked by parents and carers are:
- Why didn’t I know?
- How do I stop it?
- How can I prevent it from happening again?
- What can I expect in terms of my child’s development?
- What can I do about my child’s behaviour?
- What will happen to the abusive child?
This article seeks to answer these questions.
Sibling sexual abuse article
|1Abel, G and Harlow, N 2001, The Stop Child Molestation Book, Xlibris Corporation, Philadelphia, USA.
Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault 2008, Sibling Sexual Abuse: information for adults abused as children (online). Available: http://www.casa.org.au
Burke, M 2005, Sibling Sexual Abuse, (online) Available: http://www. mosac.org.uk/mosaic/resources/factsheets/Sibling%20Sexual %20Abuse.doc [Accessed 11 December 2008]
Written and illustrated by Nicole Reading in consultation with the Northern Sexual Assault Service of Tasmania, Rosy and Jack is a valuable resource for children, particularly those aged from 7 – 12 years. Rosy and Jack are a brother and sister who have had bad things done to them. They were touched by someone in ways they didn’t like and were told to keep it a secret. With the assistance of engaging illustrations, Rosy and Jack explores the difficult subject of sexual abuse and what can be done to stop it in a frank, yet sensitive manner. It covers the issues of bad secrets, who to tell and what will happen.
Rosy and Jack is highly recommended for children as both an awareness tool as well as to assist children who may be in a similar situation. It is also recommended for parents who will identify the importance of listening to, trusting and loving their children. Rosy and Jack is further recommended for anyone who works with children to invite conversations with children about staying safe and recovering from abuse.
Rosy and Jack can be purchased from Innovative Resources: www.innovativeresources.org. for $24.50 (GST inclusive) plus postage and handling.