Horsham East Ladies Probus Club learn about child abuse in communities

HORSHAM Detective Senior Constable Julie Burke was guest speaker at Horsham East Ladies Probus Club's monthly meeting on Monday.

Det Sen Const Burke, a member of the Sex Offences and Child Abuse Unit, spoke about child abuse in communities at the meeting at Horsham RSL.

"This is an issue that has recently been very prominent in the news and is something we all have to think about," she said.

"It's sad that it is in people's lives. We must be vigilant and aware that it does occur."

Club members shared some of their experiences where friends and family who had been victims had confided in them.

One of the women said nobody would believe her family member when she told her story, and she was relieved when she had.

Det Sen Const Burke said in 80 per cent of cases, domestic violence victims did not know who to tell out of fear of not being believed or because they feared the incident would be seen as their fault.

Det Sen Const Burke urged people not to be afraid to report domestic violence.

"You won't be judged and people will believe you," she said.

Det Sen Const Burke also spoke about grooming, an offence under the Crimes Act.

The Act stated that 'procuring or grooming child under 16 for unlawful sexual activity is seen as an offence and may result in imprisonment'.

Probus member Rene Vivian said it was wonderful that victims who had kept silent and were in pain did not have to suffer any more, knowing there were laws to protect them.

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