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National Child Protection Week: children see, children do.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

10 September 2008


Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, is urging all Western Victorians to take a stand against child abuse during National Child Protection Week this week.

Mr Hawker said last year nearly 35,000 Australian children were found to be abused or neglected, and it is up to government, business, the community and individuals to make it stop.

“Here in Western Victoria there are more than 25,000 children under the age of 15. While most of them will enjoy a happy and carefree childhood, a number of them will fall victim to physical and psychological abuse,” he said.

“The message the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) is trying to get across during this year’s National Child Protection Week is Children See, Children Do, all adults have the responsibility to Make Your Influence Positive.

“It aims to make all adults stop and take stock of their own actions and to start the process of changing their behaviour for the better.”

Mr Hawker said across Australia hundreds of children die, thousands are seriously injured and tens of thousands are physically, psychologically and emotionally damaged each year - and the numbers continue to grow.

“The long term personal and social burden of child abuse is horrific - there is clear evidence that abuse or neglect as a child is a significant factor in later mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, physical ill-health, difficulties in education and criminality,” he said.

“I hope that all Western Victorians will get behind National Child Protection Week and stop to think about how their behaviour affects the children around them.”

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100