When you think about child abuse and neglect, it’s easy to conjure up images of a bruised and battered little boy or a girl in dirty clothes.

It’s more difficult to picture a subdued little boy, often mistaken as an introvert when in fact, he’s broken inside from being called ‘stupid’ over and over again.

According to the latest Government figures*, in the year 2014-15 emotional abuse was the most common form of abuse substantiated for children.

The age old saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ no longer has a place in today’s society when the number of children being emotionally abused has increased by as much as 85% in some Australian states.

The total number of substantiated cases of abuse and neglect was 42,457 and emotional abuse makes up 43% of this.

The number of abused and neglected kids across Australia is now greater than the entire population of Tamworth in NSW (41,810 pop. in 2014), but the real figure is much, much higher, said Dr Katrina Lines, Executive Director of Services, Act for Kids.

“Sadly, these statistics only tell us about the traumatic stories of children who told someone what was happening, or where an adult spoke up about what was happening to a child,” said Dr Lines.

“Many more children are living in situations where they are harmed and exploited by adults – and no one notices or does anything to help.

“Act for Kids is an organisation which does just that – we act to keep children safe and to ensure they have safe, happy childhoods. We provide early educational experiences for young children to help prevent harm from occurring and specialised integrated therapy services for children who have experienced abuse and neglect.”

For more information about Act for Kids please visit: www.actforkids.com.au