Crisis Care Packs
Imagine a child, whose young life should be filled with innocence and adventure, but is instead damaged by fear and mistrust. A child for whom the words ‘home’ and ‘family’ may not be synonymous with ‘love’ and ‘safety’, the way that they should.
A child who has been sexually abused. This is the experience of far too many children and young people in Australia.
Though vital to the healing process, the act of disclosing and discussing the trauma of sexual abuse can be confusing, frightening and triggering, especially for a child or young person. In addition to this, leaving home to stay in a strange environment can bring with it another layer of fear and vulnerability, making the journey to recovery all the more difficult.
Restoring Hope is creating “Crisis Care Packs” for children and young people who have been sexually abused, to be given to them in moments of crisis – for example, being forced to leave a dangerous home environment or attending a hospital crisis centre for initial forensic testing after an incident of abuse.
An expansion of the Comfort Care Packs, these packs will consist of a few small comfort items, plus basic clothing and toiletries, with optional add-ons* if determined necessary by crisis centre workers. Each Crisis Care Pack will include the following items:
- A blanket
- “Hope”, the Restoring Hope teddy bear
- A Restoring Hope colouring book and small pack of coloured pencils/journal and pen for older children
- Basic clothing (tracksuit, t-shirt, underwear, socks, singlet/crop top)
- Basic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, face washer, deodorant).
*Add-ons may include phone credit vouchers or sim cards, petrol vouchers and grocery vouchers, and may be distributed to victims and their families deemed at need by crisis centre workers.
The Crisis Care Packs will be distributed through workers at sexual assault crisis centres across Victoria. These centres are mostly hospital-based and deal with victims of sexual abuse during acute periods of abuse and beyond. Restoring Hope aim to commence the distribution of 1000 packs by December 2015.
Attending these centres can be incredibly confronting for young victims of sexual abuse, and discussing the abuse with strangers in an unknown environment can induce feelings of anxiety, distress, and fear of further punishment if the perpetrator were to find out. Furthermore, for a child or young person the process of forensic testing – which often includes having their clothes and belongings taken from them – can cause them to feel exposed, embarrassed and ashamed about what has happened to them.
Our aim is to use this simple act to bring some comfort and a sense of normality to a life that has been turned upside down, and restore a sense of dignity and hope at a time when it is needed the most. To let them know that they are loved and cared for, and deserve to be safe and happy. Your contribution to this project will allow us to send this positive message to children and young people in need, and commence them on the path to health, happiness and hope for the future.
For this project, Restoring Hope is also accepting donations of new clothing and toiletries. Please see here for the full list of required items.