I am a director, playwright, and theatre critic with a Masters in Writing for Performance. You can check out my my portfolio and musings at www.samsaradunston.blogspot.com.au
Show you care for abused children in our community
Chris Hemsworth is the patron of The Australian Childhood Foundation and has announced a major community event and movement for children - The Big Love Light - at twilight on 28 October 2017 at Birrarung Marr. The Big Love Light will shine a light on the power of loving relationships in the lives of all children.
The Australian Childhood Foundation was started over thirty years ago by a small but passionate group of professionals and community advocates who saw major problems in child protection. The counsellors, educators and professional advocates at the Foundation are united in ensuring children hurt by abuse, neglect and family violence are helped to heal. Every week in Australia, 3118 children are involved with child protection services to investigate child abuse, neglect and family violence and/or ensure their protection.
The Foundation refuses to give up on abused children and are committed to defending their right to a loved and safe childhood. 73% of children who were involved with child protection last year had been involved with child protection at least once before. The younger the children are the more likely they are to need protection. Children under the age of one year are the most likely age group to be abused and/or neglected.
The Big Love Light Walk
Across Australia, last year, 15% of children who were proven to have been abused had been physically abused, 11% had been sexually abused, 45% had been emotionally or psychologically abused and 25% had been neglected. More children than ever before are forced to live away from their own home in order to keep them protected from abuse and violation. Tonight, more than forty six thousand children will not be able to sleep in their own beds for fear of their safety. Nationally, 67% of children in out of home care had been in long term care - this means they had been looked after by someone other than their parents in order to keep them safe for 2 years or more. Many of the young people that commit crimes in the community are also involved in the child protection system.
The latest figures show that 32.4% of young people under youth justice supervision were also in the child protection system. Two out of every 5 young people in youth detention were involved in the child protection system in the same year. Without specialist help and protection, the experience of abuse can become the starting point for a lifetime of struggle, confusion, conflict and breakdown. It can lead to depression, drug and alcohol addiction, violence, crime, mental illness and youth and adult suicide.
The Big Love Light Walk will become a symbol for the community to express their love of children and willingness to act to defend their childhood. It involves a 3.5 km track along the Yarra River connecting families and friends with live music, a family film screening and favourite childhood games hosted by YMCA. It will inspire the whole community to be passionate about defending the right of all children to loving, caring and safe relationships.
Love is a powerful force. You can be too. To sign up for The Big Love Light Walk register here. If you cannot make the walk there are plenty of ways to show your support via donations, official merchandise and your social media communities, all of which is listed on the website.