ABOUT BRAVEHEARTS
BRAVEHEARTS INC is Australia's only children's charity holistically dedicated to the issue of child sexual assault. Bravehearts offers comprehensive counselling and education for children and young people, parental support for non-offending family members, along with advocacy for adult survivors.

Bravehearts also invests in extensive training and research strategies in order to combat the complex issues associated with child sexual assault.

It is vital that we work together to educate, empower and protect Australia's children.

An example of how $1000 raised can make a difference is:
  • 100 children gain access to the live Ditto Show to learn about personal safety; or
  • 40 Crisis calls are professionally responded to; or
  • 20 children receive a counselling session; or
  • a SADS (Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme) participant discloses to Police resulting in the direct cessation of offending against another child; or
  • any combination of these life changing interventions.

BRAVEHEART STATISTICS
  • 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18, 
  • In 95% of child sexual assault cases, the offender is known to the child and is a relative or trusted friend. Only 5% of child sexual assault cases are “stranger danger” 
  • Children are most vulnerable between ages 8-12. The average age for first abuse is 9.9 years for boys and 9.6 years for girls (Finkelhor, 1986) 
  • A 1994 survey of 453 pedophiles, revealed they were collectively responsible for the molestation of over 67,000 children. That's an average of 148 children per individual paedophile. (Abel, 1994) 
  • 1 in 3 Australians would not believe children if they disclosed they were being abused. (Australian Childhood Foundation, 2009) 
  • Unless coming face to face with the issue most Australians rate petrol prices and roads as issues of greater concern than child protection.

ABOUT THE KOKODA CHALLENGE

Commit to child protection and help stop child sexual assault.  

WHAT makes you commit to an exhausting, but exhilarating, 96 kilometre rugged mountain trek across the Owen Stanley Ranges of Papua New Guinea? What's more, why would you commit to doing it in only 96 hours when most people complete the trek over 8 days and seven nights, knowing it will test your moral fibre, your comfort zones, your endurance and your commitments?

For child protection of course! If you can't do it for Aussie kids, who would you do it for?

Want me to shock you? Unless they come face to face with the issue, collectively, Australians rate petrol prices, public transport and roads as issues of greater concern than child abuse.

Child Abuse is a topic that no one seems to want to talk about. Mention child sexual abuse and it's a conversation stopper. There is a lack of understanding about the rate of child sexual abuse within Australia and a lack of understanding on what we, as a community, can do about it.

So knowing this, how could I say no, when invited by Bravehearts to take on Kokoda on behalf of sexually abused children? I believe that the Bravehearts charity offers the most effective way of addressing the issue and minimising the hardships felt by victims.

The topic of child protection is very close to my heart. Working in childcare for 23 years, I have been lucky on the most part to work with happy and healthy children.

However not all children are as fortunate and many child victims of abuse do not disclose so even the best intentioned adults sometimes miss the signs.

Oakville Preschool Learning Centre has supported Bravehearts over the past years, however as a centre and an individual we have always wanted to do more. So when I received an invitation to come adventuring with Bravehearts, I thought it's time for me to prove my commitment to child welfare and put my feet where my heart is. It gives me a chance to demonstrate very publically my support for the Bravehearts mission while offering an effective way to reach out to our community and raise awareness.

It will give me the opportunity to highlight the issue of child sexual assault whilst testing my inner strength to challenge myself as I push my body to the limit. I know every step I take will be for the kids. I am no extreme sports person, just a mum and small business owner who wants to make a difference. I know it will be a once in a life time experience while raising much needed funds.

ELIZABETH SHERIDAN  
 
UPDATES    
 
8/9/12 
 
WE MADE IT in 86 hours- 10 hours faster than our target. What a fantastic experience.
All I can say is that I am glad that I spent so much time training and making sure I was ready physically. Its true what they say “there are ups and there are downs and then there are ups and there are downs and nothing in between” that is except Mud- never ending Kokoda mud. Oh and don’t forget rain- big fat Kokoda rain.
Our goal was to make it in 96 hours and we made it in 86 which is a whole 10 hours faster than our goal. I carried my pack the entire way without the need for a porter. My group consisted of 6 trekkers for Bravehearts- 5 men and myself, then 2 trek leaders both guys and the two doctors both female. We had some bad weather which I think is expected- but we did it! Long days and equally as long nights in communal huts made of bamboo which dug in your back. I don’t think I should mention the toilet situation-  suddenly all public toilets look like 5 star. The last 2 days we walked for 15 hours then 16 1/2 hours starting and finishing in the dark and rain.
We made it to Kokoda at 8.25pm after starting at 4am that morning. It seemed to go on forever and the steep downhill in the dark was particularly difficult. We were greeted by the village children as we entered and escorted to our tents. It was a lovely way to finish. Swollen feet were my only ailment so I feel blest.
Our group was small and everyone was lovely which really helped to make it special. It will certainly be an adventure I will never forget. Together our little group of 6 raised $222,000 for our cause which will really make a difference to child protection. 
Thanks so much to everyone for your support. 
 
30/7/12
Saturday night was our Bogan Bingo night and a great time was had by all. I would like to thank the 178 people who attended the evening and helped to raise just over $13,500. My fundraising tally is now just short of $50,000, twice as much as I was originally aiming at. Thanks so much everyone for your continued support. We are now three and a half weeks out from Kokoda and training hard. I hope all the effort will make for an amazing journey. I know it has been so far.

Posted 3/6/12
It was a great turn out for the Charity Ride yesterday to raise money for child protection. We had around 70 guys on bikes who were not only enjoying the ride but who have also donated and sponsored the ride. It was an awesome sight to see. Thank you
Our Hunter Valley tour raised just under $6000- Fantastic, I cannot say thank you enough. Even better is we had a great time, with great friends for a great cause. 
Our fundraising tally is now over $28,000


Posted 13th/5/2012
I am now just over three months from my trek. I have stepped up my training and I am now living and breathing Kokoda. Mountain Hiking has become my new love and for someone who has never liked the bush with snakes, bugs etc I can’t believe how much I am loving it. Unfortunately we have had a few snake encounters but with the cold weather upon us I am sure they will be fewer in the coming months.  

I want to say a really big thank you to Peter Scott who has organised a bike ride on the 2nd June to raise funds for our cause. The ride is a sell out. Thank you to all the guys and girls who have sponsored the shirts for the ride. Thank you  to all the guys attending the ride. Thanks to Distinctive Image Windsor, Millers Turf, Allset Engineering, Hogan Engineering, Hancrest Buildcorp PTY, Aview Turf, Simpson Fuel Supplies who are our major sponsors. Thanks also to all the individuals who have sponsored  the ride.
Our Hunter Trip is next Saturday and we have 114 people attending. It will be an awesome day. We still have 6 seats if anyone is interested. 

Our fundraising tally has hit over $20,000!!!! Thanks to all your support. 
  

Posted on 7/3/2012
To date I have raised just over $15,000-awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored me.
Our Hunter Valley wine tour is going strong with 100 confirmed tickets sold. Only 20 more tickets available, so be quick if you would like yo join us. A really big thank you to everyone who has purchased tickets and for thoes people who have organised big groups of people to come along and enjoy the day with us.

Hold Sat 28th July free for a fun night of Bogan Bingo. It is a chance to let your inner bogan free while raising funds for Aussie kids. I will let you know more as the date approaches.
Thank you all for your support.
Elizabeth
 
 
 Posted on 3/2/2012 by Elizabeth Sheridan
So it’s been nearly 4 months since I decided to take on Kokoda to raise funds for child protection. I have been greatly encouraged by so many of you as you have come alongside me with financial support and words of encouragement. I have increased my training regime, which now includes long bush walks and hiking. There is no trail I have found that will prepare me for the same terrain as what I am expecting on Kokoda but the secret I think will be to stay fit, have good endurance and test my mental training from time to time.
So far I have raised $12,380 to be precise so nearly half way. If you haven’t already done so I would like to encourage you to donate. I find it hard to ask for money as I am usually the one supporting but this isn’t for me or for my business. This is for Australian children. Let’s make a difference and protect our kids.
 


Hunter Valley trip


UPCOMING EVENTS
NEWSLETTERS


MAJOR SPONSORS

 
 
We would like to thank our sponsors for helping us not only raise funds for child protection but also for helping us highlight the issue of child sexual assault they have my personal gratitude and that of Bravehearts Inc
Your contribution back to the community is commendable.

Help me to thank our sponsors for their generosity and commitment to child protection by utilising their goods and services.