This week is Child Protection Week.
Protecting children means a lot of different things to a great many people, but to the police officers who work at the frontline of child victim-based crimes, protecting children is the reason they get up every morning.
These officers see the worst of the worst, become intertwined in the terribly sad stories and witness first-hand the trauma that extends far beyond the day of the crime.
They are investigators, they are listeners and they are often the foundation of support for the victim who takes the bravest step to stand up and speak out.
We are using this week as a way to thank these men and women, to shine a light on the officers across the state working in the Child Protection Investigation Units for their commitment, their drive and the countless hours they spend working to keep the most vulnerable members of our community – our children, safe.
We sat down with three of these officers to speak to them about what it means to work in this field.
We thank the officers for their honesty and the time they took to share their stories with us.
We realise this topic may be sensitive to some and may cause some negative emotion, however we encourage you to start positive communication. To speak with your children and develop open and honest communication with them.
By starting this wave small and building it slowly it is our hope that by the time it reaches a child victim who has never had the courage to speak up before, they find their strength.