ACCCE research has shown that child sexual abuse and online exploitation is a stigmatised topic and not well understood or openly talked about:
- 15% of parents and carers would feel too embarrassed and ashamed to talk to other parents if their child was exploited online.
- 21% of parents/carers felt that the topic was too repulsive and sickening to think about.
- Only 21% of parents/carers thought that online child sexual exploitation could happen to their child.
- The average time before a survivor talks about their experience with child sexual abuse is about 20 years for women and 25 years for men. Some never disclose. (*Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.)
This is why it’s time to talk about child sexual exploitation.
By opening discussion, we reduce the stigma and build awareness. Survivors are more likely to seek support. Perpetrators find it harder to hide. This is vital for preventing this crime from happening to our children.
The most important thing the community can do is to start the conversation and listen when someone comes to you for help and support.
You can help to stop the stigma by:
- Being ready to listen and believe.
- Getting educated on where to go for support.
- Understanding how to report abuse.
Discussion of child sexual abuse is uncomfortable, but nothing is more uncomfortable than the abuse itself.
For information on how to access support or report abuse, visit www.accce.gov.au/StopTheStigma