Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (20:08:44):
My adjournment matter tonight is directed to the Minister for Education and concerns the group Body Safety Australia.
The action I seek is for the minister to increase funding to the program so it can be extended to regional areas. Body Safety Australia is a social enterprise that protects children from sexual abuse.
The group uses evidence-based strategies to provide age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention education to students, parents and teachers.
It is worth noting some facts about child sexual abuse. One in five children will experience childhood sexual abuse. On average children need to disclose five times before they are believed. Twenty-four per cent of female survivors were first abused by six years of age. Eighty-nine per cent of those cases will be perpetrated by a known offender. The internet is increasingly being used by predators to groom children.
The programs Body Safety Australia deliver complement the current Respectful Relationships curriculum and Child Safe Standards, and are provided to communities regardless of socio-economic status, religion, abilities, sexuality and/or family structure.
They have specialised knowledge and experience in orthodox and faith-based schools, special schools, LGBTIQ communities and people with different abilities, as well as people with different languages I understand that CEO Deanne Carson has been unsuccessful in seeking meetings with the education minister to discuss extending their funding to ensure that they can deliver their important programs to rural and regional areas.
I ask the education minister to provide ongoing funding to Body Safety, so that communities in regional areas can benefit from these vitally important programs.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Adjournment debate 18/10/19