Editorial – November 2013: Blue Knot Day 2013
October 28 was Blue Knot Day, an initiative coordinated by Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA), the leading national organisation advancing the needs of the estimated 4-5 million Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma. This year ASCA released findings from new research into the social and personal impacts of child abuse in Australia, from the ASCA 1300 helpline. The key findings show: 78 per cent of survivors reported suffering from mental health issues; 43 per cent reported experiencing multiple forms of abuse; 79 per cent said they were sexually abused. Dr Cathy Kezelman, ASCA president, said: “The long-term social, health and personal impacts of childhood abuse and trauma are far-reaching and numerous. And they have significant economic implications as well. Opening up public discussion about this complex issue is an important step towards healing, both for individuals as well as communities.”
“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has put the issue of child abuse on the national agenda and will hopefully bring perpetrators and their protectors to justice – but the deep emotional, physical and psychological wounds experienced by so many adult survivors cannot be remedied by legal action alone,” she said.
An ecumenical service of lament, attended by NSW Attorney General Greg Smith, City of Sydney Councillor Irene Doutney and representatives from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic and Uniting churches, was held on November 2 at the Pitt Street Uniting Church. The Rev. Elenie Poulos, director of the Uniting Church National Assembly’s justice agency, was guest preacher at the South Sydney Uniting Church on November 3. These events were two of many held around the country in solidarity with victims, in protest against willful ignorance and cover-ups, and in support of healing and recovery.
The ASCA helpline – 1300 657 380 – offers professional counselling support for survivors. See the ASCA website for more information and resources.