Bravehearts was founded in 1997 by Hetty Johnston AM following her young daughter's disclosure of sexual assault. Finding there was no organisation to turn to for help, Hetty established Bravehearts to provide advice and support to those affected by child sexual assault. Bravehearts provides industry-leading child protection training and education programs, specialist child sexual assault and exploitation counselling and support services, as well as engaging in research and lobbying.
It is important to understand that child sexual assault and exploitation is a crime that can affect not only the child or young person, but also families and the broader community. Did you know the number of children sexually assaulted and exploited each year in Australia is conservatively estimated at 60,000?
Bravehearts' White Balloon Day is Australia's largest campaign dedicated to preventing child sexual assault and exploitation. Each year on 11 September 2020, White Balloon Day unites communities to break the silence on child sexual assault and exploitation and makes a commitment to protecting Aussie kids.
The White Balloon was adopted by Bravehearts as symbolic of the issue of child sexual assault following a public demonstration in Belgium in 1996. Approximately 300,000 people gathered with white balloons in solidarity for the parents of children who were the victims of a previously convicted and released paedophile. Bravehearts continued the tradition the following year and has done so every year since.
Bravehearts' first official White Balloon Day was held in 1997. After more than two decades, the white balloon is now a symbol of hope for survivors of child sexual assault and encourages them to break the silence by speaking out. The funds raised as part of White Balloon Day have helped to educate almost 1 million children across Australia about personal safety, as well as help provide counselling services for children and families affected by child sexual assault.
For two weeks leading up to this date, our firm reached out to the community to assist us in raising awareness and funds for Bravehearts. We are immensely grateful to all the donors who helped us raise $2,547.00 for Bravehearts this year. We invited our first 30 donors to an exclusive lunch at Mr PP's on White Balloon Day to thank them for their generosity and to raise awareness on child sexual assault and exploitation. 1 in 5 Australian children will be sexually harmed in some way before they turn 18 which is deeply alarming so please help Bravehearts in their Mission to prevent this crime by getting involved on White Balloon Day, Friday September 11. www.whiteballoonday.com.au