These days we have so many awareness days that you could be forgiven for missing one or two over the course of the year, but today marks a national awareness day that truly does deserve your full attention…
Blue Knot Day is an Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) initiative to raise awareness for the estimated five million adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse.
To mark the day, the ASCA has released new research from its professional support line (1300 657 380) that reveals some heart-wrenching statistics and shows this often-overlooked and once-taboo issue is one that needs to be at the forefront of our minds.
The research showed that most childhood abuse occurs in the places we would think our children would be safest. The data shows that after the home (65%), other reported locations for being abused included institutions (10%), in care (6%), schools (5%), community and sporting organisations (2%) and other locations, which were outside these main locations (12%).
Distressingly, the statistics also identified that 90% of respondents were abused by a member of their family or a family friend, and 18% reported multiple perpetrators.
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What is often overlooked in these cases is the effect abuse has later in life when the children become adults. The Blue Knot Day research, which was drawn from the anonymous records of 4,000 people who contacted the ASCA Professional Support Line, revealed the following key statistics:
- Most survivors reported multiple impacts of abuse in their lives (72%)
- The most prominent impacts reported by survivors was on their mental health (85%) followed by relationships: immediate family (50%); partners (35%); parenting (28%); friends (23%)
- Childhood trauma and abuse left many battling problems with physical health (35%) suicidality (18%), alcohol misuse (15%), illicit drug use (11%), employment (12%), criminality (6%) and gambling problems (1%)
This year, ASCA’s official Blue Knot Day event, where the annual Blue Knot Award will be announced, will be held today (27th October) at Canberra’s Parliament house with speakers including Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Justice Peter McClellan, and the Minister for Health & Minister for Sport, The Hon. Peter Dutton MP.
The Blue Knot Award will be awarded to lawyer, advocate and clergy abuse survivor, John Ellis, as an acknowledgment for his push for national law reform, work with victims of institutional child sexual abuse as well his personal battle for justice from the Catholic Church.
For more information on the event, the organization, and how you can help, visit www.asca.org.au
Help and support is available from the ASCA professional support line on 1300 657 380, 9am- 5pm Monday-Sunday.
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