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It's time to get educated about abuse and its prevention

Not a day, it seems, goes by, without us hearing about various forms of harm and abuse towards individuals or groups. It appears to be endemic across NZ in our institutions, schools, churches, political and religious organisations, sports clubs and where we should be safest- in our homes.

As each day of hearings continues at the Royal Commission into abuse in State Care we are informed of all the trauma to individuals and families for many years, but hear little, yet, of any practical solutions.

SafeHere, a charitable trust that has been working with New Zealand organisations for over 10 years to reduce harm to children and other vulnerable people, has decided that we cannot wait for years to get some recommendations from the Royal Commission about what should be done about this systemic national issue.

Together with its counterpart- ChildSafe Australia and Kineo – an international online education company, it is today releasing the new e-learning programme “Keeping Children and Vulnerable People Safe-NZ ” along with its new look website www.safehere.org.

SafeHere Chairman, Robin Gunston, says: ”Until now our safety management standards, publications, training and software have only been available to subscribing organisations who are committed to provide safe places, safe people and safe programmes for people in their care.

Now, however, with the growing awareness of all forms of abuse, we have made this course available to the general public to purchase. We hope that we can commence a journey together, across NZ, using the same learning basis, to recognise abuse in all its various forms, and provide practical means of prevention”

“Our hope”, he continues,“ is that parents and caregivers will also start to consider what goes on when their children or other vulnerable people in their care, attend kindergartens, schools, clubs, camps, sports tournaments and training, even go to the gym, music and dance classes or perhaps spend time in care facilities."

"Are their loved ones safe there? Does the organisation they entrust them to have all the practical means of appointing the right people, controlling their risks and training their staff and volunteers to recognise unsafe environments or prevent abuse? Do they report all their incidents and learn from them? Can they prove from their records to parents and caregivers that all this is in place? These are key questions if we are to achieve societal change.”

The e-learning course is also suitable for social workers, sports coaches, youth workers, police officers, teachers, pastors and other groups who may encounter the outcomes of various forms of unsafe situations or abuse of children and vulnerable people in their day to day work.

For more enquiries go to www.safehere.org

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