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What is child abuse?


Child abuse prevention

Preventing child abuse in all its forms, including neglect and the impacts of family violence is a significant challenge in all communities. Child abuse and trauma is a substantial public health issue. It requires a public health approach to prevention.

This include

  • Primary prevention  - stopping abuse before it occurs
  • Secondary Prevention – focussing on groups which are at particular risks
  • Tertiary Prevention – responding to those who have already been abused to minimise the risk of further harm. 

In Australia, there has been a concerted effect to prevent child abuse. However the prevalence of abuse continues to rise. Primary prevention requires simultaneous effort on multiple levels to promote, and sustain, lasting social and behavioural change. We need approaches that accept that child abuse is a widespread and harmful social practice that is reinforced every day by long-standing and problematic cultural beliefs and values. 

Safe nurturing and protective relationships with primary care-givers and significant others are important in helping children establish a secure base from which to learn and grow. Relationships with other family members, teachers, peers in their home and neighbourhood all help to shape a child’s experiences.

The following lists state and territory departments to which you can report suspected child abuse and neglect:

Guidelines around mandatory reporting can be found here:

Information on responding to children and young people’s disclosures is here: 

Additional resources are here:

Latest Articles



Health Direct


Head to Health


“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”


“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”


"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”


Contact Us

Phone: 02 8920 3611
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman
+61 425 812 197
+61 2 8920 3611

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Jackie Hanafie
+61 3 9005 7353
+61 412 652 439


The information and resources on this site are provided for general education and as information and/or a guide only. They do not replace, and should not be used as a substitute for, counselling, therapy or other services, and should at no time be regarded or treated as professional advice of any kind. Personal needs and circumstances should always be carefully and thoroughly considered to determine the optimal approach in each individual case.