"Child protection is everybody’s business."Photo: Western Cape Government
NATIONAL NEWS - "It takes a village to raise a child." This Nigerian proverb conveys the African view that the values of family relationships, parental care, self-sacrificing concern for others, sharing and hospitality are required in bringing up children.
With the commemoration of Child Protection Week from 1 to 7 June, the importance of these values are brought to the fore.
According to statistics provided by the Department of Social Development, children under the age of five are most likely to be abused and killed in the home, while teenage boys are at increased risk of being killed in the context of male-on-male interpersonal violence.
One in three children is a victim of sexual violence and physical abuse before the age of 18, while 12% of children report neglect and 16% report emotional abuse.
In 2013/14, 29% (18 524) of sexual offences reported to the police were against children under the age of 18 years - equating to 51 cases a day.
Connie Nxumalo, the deputy director-general responsible for Welfare Services at the Department of Social Development, said the message government was conveying during Child Protection Week was: child protection is everybody’s business.
She said the focus was on supporting family programmes because children were violated by people they knew.
“Communities need to rally around their own families to make sure they are strong enough to protect their members, including their children.
South Africans are encouraged to report child abuse to the 24-hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre (0800 428 428 or *120*7867#) or to Childline (0800 055 555).