A child safety workshop is coming to Katherine to teach adults and children about preventing child abuse both online and in the real world.
Since 2007, Holly-ann Martin, managing director of Safe4Kids, has been travelling Australia empowering children to help keep them safe.
“Each year, we provide face-to-face teaching and training to 4500 children, 1000 teachers and 1000 parents, carers and educators,” Ms Martin said.
“We need to talk to kids about the dangers of the Internet from as young as six. The internet is a very easy place for children to access pornography,” she said.
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The Safe4Kids program is split in two sections, allowing for education around the dangers of cyberspace and pornography, and keeping kids safe from sexual abuse in the real world.
“It is about helping children identify unsafe situations,” Ms Martin said.
With over 30 years of experience in teaching child abuse prevention education, Ms Martin said she hopes to inspire teachers and parents to continue the program so protective education is taught in Katherine.
“Kids in grade one are using Snapchat, they are learning off their siblings,” Ms Martin said.
“If you google Elsa from Frozen enough times, you’re going to come across pornography.
“Parents think their children are watching cat videos online, but parents need to know how accessible the internet is for children,” she said.
According to the Safe4Kids program, “the focus is not only on educating and empowering children but also educating and empowering teachers, educators, parents, carers and family and community members, on how they can reinforce the concepts of protective behaviours with the children to help keep them safe.”
Ms Martin will be hosting two sessions for parents:
She will also be visiting MacFarlane Primary School, Clyde Fenton, Katherine High School and Katherine South Primary School, as well as remote communities.
The Safe4Kids Program is based on the original Protective Behaviours program developed in the 1970’s in America.
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