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The age old saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ no longer has a place in today’s society when the number of children being emotionally abused has increased by as much as 85% in some Australian states.

Act for Kids is calling for everyone to be vigilant to suspected emotional abuse.

When you think about child abuse and neglect, it’s easy to conjure up images of a bruised and battered little boy or a girl in dirty clothes.
It’s more difficult to picture a subdued little boy, often mistaken as an introvert when in fact, he’s broken inside from being called ‘stupid’ over and over again.
According to the latest Government figures*, in the year 2014-15 emotional abuse was the most common form of abuse substantiated for children.

The age old saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ no longer has a place in today’s society when the number of children being emotionally abused has increased by as much as 85% in some Australian states.
The total number of substantiated cases of abuse and neglect was 42,457 and emotional abuse makes up 43% of this.
The number of abused and neglected kids across Australia is now greater than the entire population of Tamworth in NSW (41,810 pop. in 2014), but the real figure is much, much higher, said Dr Katrina Lines, Executive Director of Services, Act for Kids.

“Sadly, these statistics only tell us about the traumatic stories of children who told someone what was happening, or where an adult spoke up about what was happening to a child,” said Dr Lines.
“Many more children are living in situations where they are harmed and exploited by adults – and no one notices or does anything to help.
“Act for Kids is an organisation which does just that – we act to keep children safe and to ensure they have safe, happy childhoods. We provide early educational experiences for young children to help prevent harm from occurring and specialised integrated therapy services for children who have experienced abuse and neglect.”

For more information about Act for Kids please visit: www.actforkids.com.au

About Act for Kids
Act for Kids is an Australian charity working tirelessly to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.
Act for Kids is one of the most prominent providers of free professional therapy for children who have suffered abuse and support for families at risk.
With 22 centres across Australia from the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, to South Australia and New South Wales, Act for Kids has supported thousands of children and their families since establishing in 1988.
Did you know?
* In 2014–15 there were 42,457 children confirmed as abused or neglected in Australia.
* In 2014–15, there were 320,200 reports made to child protection services in Australia.
* The number of children in out-of-home care continues to increase. At 30 June 2015, there were 43,400 children and young people in out-of-home care.
* Nationally, emotional abuse was the most prevalent type, confirmed in 43% of cases, closely followed by neglect in 26% of cases.
* The Australian Government and State and Territory governments announced in 2009 a national, long-term approach for protecting Australia’s children. Act for Kids is part of a coalition working to ensure these reforms produce better protection for children.
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Child protection Australia 2014–15. Child welfare series no. 63. Cat. No. CWS 57. Canberra: AIHW.
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129554728