BIG BROTHER 2013 contestant Nathan Little knows first-hand the devastating long-term affects suffered by victims of child sexual assault, but he is finding strength by helping others as a Bravehearts White Balloon Day ambassador.
Now 36, Nathan said the assaults began as a young boy while living with his violent, alcoholic father.
“I was living alone with my father when the abuse began and I just didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I knew it was wrong and I knew I wanted it to stop, but I also knew if I reported it he would go to jail and I would have no one, so I was scared.”
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“I also wanted to protect him. That’s something a lot of people don’t understand; the instinct to protect the person abusing you. I was terrified, absolutely terrified and I hated the abuse but he was still my dad and I loved him. There was so much fear and confusion.
Nathan was just 13 when his father committed suicide and says it was only then, that he was able to finally start revealing the truth of so many years of abuse. Uttering that first terrifying disclosure started a long road to recovery.
Now as an ambassador for White Balloon Day, Nathan hopes his story can give others the confidence to disclose.
“Bravehearts and the work it does not only helps to stop child sexual assault, but helps those who have suffered to deal with it in a way that allows them to move forward and live a full and healthy life,” he said.
White Balloon Day is Bravehearts’ key fundraising and awareness initiative held during National Child Protection Week and aims to put an end to child sexual assault in the community.
This year Bravehearts has also launched a selfie campaign to encourage Australians to ask the big question – #whoRUprotecting? Anyone can join in by simply taking a #whoRUprotecting selfie and posting the answer on their hand in a photo on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Bravehearts founder and CEO Hetty Johnston, is urging all Australians to pledge support.
“Child protection is everyone’s responsibility and we all have children in our lives who we love and want to protect,” said Ms Johnston.
“Child sexual assault is preventable. By helping us we can put a stop to it. Let’s do this as a nation, and together we can exact change and make a big difference to so many.”
White Ballon Day is on September 12. For information on how to participate and donate, visit whiteballoonday.com.au
Need to talk to someone? Bravehearts is here to help: 1800 272 831