Child abuse

Child abuse refers to any kind of abuse which affects a child sexually, physically, emotionally and/or spiritually.

For example:

  • Sexual abuse;
  • Physical abuse of any kind;
  • Neglect;
  • Harsh or unjust punishment;
  • Repeated criticisms and put-downs, constant ridicule;
  • Ritual abuse; and
  • Verbal abuse.

Paedophilia refers to sexual attraction towards children or young people.

Help prevent child abuse

Parents of child abuse victims

Parents of abused children often say, "There was something about him but I couldn't put my finger on it. Something inside me was telling me to be careful. I ignored these feelings of uncertainty. I wish now that I had paid attention to my instincts.".

Parents know their children better than anyone else. Trust your instincts. If you find yourself, even in the smallest way, wary of the intentions of someone wishing to be alone with your child, then respond to these instincts and say "No".

The vast majority of people are honest and good, but if someone appears to be too good to be true, they often are.

If you have any legitimate concerns about anybody, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or your local police.

Identifying a child molester

Most allegations of child abuse in Western Australia relate to incidents within the family and are mostly caused by non-preferential child molesters.

Non-preferential child molesters don't necessarily prefer children as sexual partners but due to circumstances, have sexual activity with children.

Preferential child molesters are often consumed by their need to engage in sexual activity with children. This need is often the driving force behind their lives and everything they do is geared to the goal of obtaining children for sexual gratification.

Preferential child molesters often engage in activities which bring them into contact with children, such as sporting clubs, youth groups, through their employment, community/church groups, loitering where children congregate and internet chat rooms.

They often target children emotionally in need, often taking on the "father figure" role, will offer gifts such as toys, entertainment, clothing, money, alcohol, cigarettes or drugs and will often spend considerable time developing the trust of the child and the family.

Most offenders offend in their own home or in the home of the victim.
They have the potential to offend over and over again throughout their lives.

Help protect children and report child molesters.