Protecting children from sexual predators, abuse and bullies will be the main message at a forum held in Pinjarra later this month.
Spearheaded by guest speaker and Safe4Kids founder Holly-Ann Martin, the Keeping Them Safe event will look to educate parents about the online methods predators may use to groom children.
It will also discuss suicide prevention, life skills and steps parents and the wider community can take to ensure children remain safe.
“In a nutshell, the stats say one in every three children experience sexual abuse,” Ms Martin said.
“That’s the whole spectrum. From being shown pornography to some of the most heinous acts.
“This forum is going to be about preventing that, and showing parents some ways that they can educate their kids about potential predators.”
The evening will place a large focus on online grooming, showing parents the ramifications than can occur when a child uses apps such as TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram.
“So many kids are being looked at by predators on these apps, and on games like Fortnite or Minecraft,” Ms Martin said.
“And they don’t want to tell their parents about it because they’re worried they will either get in trouble or have their electronics taken off them.
“That’s why we’re hoping this event helps establish some open communication between parents and their children. We don’t want to frighten kids, we just want to make sure they’re safe.”
The importance of tackling abuse via a community-minded approach will form a key part of Ms Martin’s presentation, as she explains the need for all adults to be looking out for the safety of children.
“We need to stop thinking of it as parents protecting their own babies,” she said.
“It’s about being a village. You could be someone that works at the school, or the library or at a local shop, and one day it might fall to you to watch out for someone else’s child.
“You also never know who a child that has experienced sexual assault will confide in, and how will you handle it if it’s you?
“These are the sorts of things we’re trying to get across.”
The event is a collaborative efforts presented by Safe Woman Safe Family, the Shire of Murray and the Murray Alliance Against Depression.
It will be held at the Pinjarra Civic Centre on Thursday, October 22 from 6.30pm.
Call 9531 7708 to register your interest.
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