Breaking silence on child abuse

AS the animosity towards convicted pedophile Dennis Ferguson builds in Sydney, the issue of 'stranger danger' is being discussed in every family home today.

Every parent is wondering how safe their kids are in their own locality.

After reports of a suspicious man approaching an 11-year-old girl in Alstonville surfaced this week parents will be even more concerned.

That report came as news broke about another incident at Byron Bay when two girls aged around 12 were approached by a man in a car as they waited to be picked up from a nearby bus stop.

It is imperative for parents to keep tabs on their children, and know where they are and if they are safe, at all times.

Unfortunately though, the danger is often much closer to home. It is a sad fact that children have more to fear from someone they love and trust.

The recent story of the Victorian woman who for 30 years was sexually abused by her father and subsequently gave birth to four children is anathema to most of us.

Parents need to ensure their children can feel free to speak to them openly if they are frightened or upset by the behaviour of a trusted adult - mother, father, uncle or grandparents.

So much abuse of children has been allowed to continue over the years because no one wants to listen, preferring a cone of silence. Such inaction is criminal.

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