ABUSE, neglect and family violence have a devastating impact on the lives of children, and the trauma that results from their experiences can continue to shatter their lives long after the abuse itself has stopped.
With these harsh realities in mind, three communal organisations have joined forces to shine a spotlight on the issue of child safety as part of Child Protection Week, which runs from September 4-10.
Jewish Care Victoria, Tzedek, and the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence (JTAFV) will be hosting a variety of diverse yet related educational forums, marking the first time such a collaborative effort to educate and support the community around child abuse and family violence has been attempted.
All three organisations believe that this shared approach is the best way to meet the needs of the -community.
The CEO of Tzedek, which offers support and advocacy to child survivors of sexual abuse in the Jewish community, said child protection is “a community responsibility”.
“No single agency acting alone can ensure that a child is safe,”
Dr Michelle Meyer said.
“We recognise that achieving positive outcomes requires us to partner with other community agencies to offer access to a range of services.
“This Child Protection Week series of forums is an important collaborative achievement aimed at raising awareness on current changes to child safety practice, which is relevant to Jewish organisations and the broader community,” she explained.
Jewish Care CEO Bill Appleby was similarly aligned.
“I firmly believe that strong healthy families make strong, cohesive, safe and productive communities. That’s why protecting children should be of utmost importance to all communities,” he said.
“Although we are three independent organisations, we have joined to stand against child abuse and violence. Therefore, it is appropriate that we offer a series of forums that are aimed at enhancing the community’s understanding of the impact of child abuse, as well as how to make the community safer for children.”
JTAFV chair Debbie Wiener added: “It is undeniable that children are impacted by being witnesses to family violence.
“It is fitting that we are joining together with Jewish Care and Tzedek to collaborate on these educational events for the community we serve.”
Wednesday September 7
Jewish Organisations and the new Child Safe Standards: How does it affect us
7.30-9pm, Caulfield Pavilion.
Sunday September 11
Community Forum: When Love Hurts. ‘Strike and Stroke’
8pm, Glen Eira Town Hall theaterette. $10 per ticket.
For more information, contact JTAFV Inc. on (03) 9523 6850.
Tuesday September 13
Community Forum (in Hebrew): When Love Hurts. ‘Strike and Stroke’
8pm, Beth Weizmann Community Centre. $10 per ticket.
For more information, contact Hallely at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday September 14
Information session: Understanding the difference between Child Protection and Child FIRST
9.15am-12pm, St Kilda Town Hall auditorium.
For more information, contact Jewish Care on (03) 8517 5999 or email@example.com.