National Families Week Ambassador

For the second year in a row I have been appointed an Ambassador for National Families Week, an initiative of Families Australia.

National Families Week is timed to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Families on 15 May. This day is observed by the United Nations to mark the importance that the international community places on families as the most fundamental units of society, as well as to draw attention to the plight of families in many parts of the world.

National Families Week 2010 will be held between 15-21 May 2010.

The theme this year is “The best start: supporting happy, healthy childhoods”.

All children need and deserve to be loved, nurtured, cared for and adored.

However sadly that is not always the case.

Families these days come in all forms and for me connection is the key, especially for those whose families of origin have let them down. The sense of family, of belonging and of community is what truly counts.

Human Rights Advocacy

In 2009 Cathy, in her ASCA role co-authored a submission to the Human Rights Consultation together with Dr. Jennifer Wilson, Centre for Peace and Social Justice, Southern Cross University.

ASCA’s submission sought to have child abuse and child sexual abuse perpetrated by non state actors, acknowledged and named as abuses of the fundamental human rights of children. It argues that human rights discourse in Australia does not currently sufficiently acknowledge and publicise violence and sexual violence against children by non-state actors as human rights abuse. It also argues that the impact of abuse in childhood frequently leads the victim/survivor to suffer further human rights abuses, including mental health issues, homelessness, and various other difficulties that frequently transgress several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The submission is supported by a comprehensive statistical analysis of child abuse and its impacts in Australia as well as by a number of survivor stories. We would like to acknowledge each and every survivor who has come forward to tell their story and commend them for their courage and fortitude.

This submission is groundbreaking in terms of the human rights discourse in Australia because for the first time it seeks to reframe the suffering of children being abused within the private domestic sphere, in human rights terms. As human rights concerns, these abuses can become far more transparent, and far less likely to be silenced by denial. It is particularly timely as the Human Rights Commission works towards drawing up Australia’s first federal charter of human rights.
To read ASCA’s submission please click here.

The submission is accompanied by 2 appendices. Appendix A is a background document highlighting relevant statistics around child abuse and its impacts.
To read appendix A click here.

Appendix B holds a number of personal stories, courageously provided by adult survivors in support of ASCA’s submission.
To read appendix B click here.