Over the next few days the Herald will be running a series of articles on child abuse and highlighting charities working to end it. See the bottom of this page for today's charity.
Nana Julie is doing her best to care full time for her six-year-old grandson but some days are hard.
The little boy is cortically blind and brain damaged - symptoms that have been with him since he was shaken by his mother's boyfriend when he was a baby.
One day last month, Nana Julie came out of the shower to find John - not his real name - saying "No Nana, no, no, no" as he pushed her back into the bedroom.
When she ventured into the living room there was talcum powder everywhere. This followed a week in which John snapped the tray off the DVD player and damaged a digital camera and his piano, which cost $1600 to fix.
Some days, Nana Julie doesn't even have time to shower as she's caring for John, but that's the price she is willing to pay if it means her grandson is in a loving and safe home.
Nana Julie is one of 4000 grandparents doing their best to care for grandchildren who have been abused or abandoned by their parents.
The majority of them are members of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren - a non-profit, charitable trust providing support and advice for the grandparents and kinship carers who raise children full time.
For many of the struggling grandparents - who have taken on grandchildren at a time when they are meant to be winding down - the financial pressure is immense.
For many there is the added burden of dealing with a wide range of psychological and physical conditions that are part of the abuse or neglect the children have suffered.
"We are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. We are the ones that have to nurture and carry these children through the rest of their lives," said national convener Diane Vivian.
"[People] think because a child has been removed from an abusive situation that it's all over but, hey, that's where the work begins."
Mrs Vivian said the average benefit available for many grandparents raising a child aged 5-9 is just under $140 a week.
Money raised by Herald readers through the child-abuse campaign would go directly towards helping with these kinds of expenses, she said.
* The organisation:
- Around 4000 grandparents, the majority of which are over 50
- Caring for grandchildren who have been abused, abandoned or their parents suffered from drug/alcohol abuse or mental illness and weren't able to care for them
- Many of the children are suffering from psychological problems ranging from severe aggression and behaviour problems to post traumatic stress disorder.
- Physical problems such as chronic bed wetting, fetal alcohol disorder and disabilities such as blindness and deafness are common.