Warwick Police child protection officer Detective Senior Constable Julie Hauff makes a clear distinction between child discipline and child abuse.
Warwick Police child protection officer Detective Senior Constable Julie Hauff makes a clear distinction between child discipline and child abuse.

Child protection week at an end

LIKE sponges they absorb the world around them, every relationship and event will shape the adults they will one day become.

Today marks the end of Child Protection Week and Warwick Police child protection officer Detective Senior Constable Julie Hauff delivered a candid insight into her role at a Rotary Club of Warwick Sunrise breakfast this week.

Snr Const Hauff said she wanted to educate the community “because child protection is everybody's business”, the core notion of Child Protection Week.

“People are often reluctant to step in as they think behaviours involving children are a private family matter,” Snr Const Hauff said. “They sometimes think, ‘That (type of discipline) happened to me as a kid' but the law now acknowledges certain things are unacceptable.”

Snr Const Hauff said there was a clear distinction between disciplining children and abusing them.

“Carers are able to and have the right to discipline children under domestic discipline but are not to leave marks, scratches, welts or bruises,” she said.

With 15 years experience in the force, Snr Const Hauff said the Warwick district covered a large area from Warwick to Goondiwindi and Stanthorpe, with all the villages in between. When the floor was open to questions, a common theme was the coping mechanisms employed to deal with certain aspects of her job.

“As a police officer we deal with the criminal element, that's our core role, so in my job I deal with child abuse both physical and sexual and child deaths,” she said.

“Sometimes it takes years for a case to go to court and you form a relationship (with the children); you monitor their progress.

“Sometimes I would love to take home the little kids ... But there's strong support in the force, strong emotional support.”



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