WHITE balloons dotted the Hunter last week in recognition of child abuse.
As a subject not always discussed openly, White Balloon Day forms part of National Child Protection Week from, September 2 to 8.
The day encourages victims of child abuse to talk openly about their experiences and the white balloons symbolise breaking the silence.
In recognition of White Balloon Day last Thursday, the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle displayed hundreds of white balloons across its 55 Catholic schools and at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle child protection unit team leader David Muxlow said the day was important.
Mr Muxlow said if one person spoke out, it could help to prevent abuse against another.
"What we're trying to achieve is to increase employees of the diocese's awareness so that if an issue arises they can report it."
The diocese held a morning tea and a discussion forum on child protection issues, with its team leaders.