16 Days of Activism: Encourage kids to speak out, says Childline

16 Days of Activism: Encourage kids to speak out, says Childline SA

Parents, teachers, guardians and the public at large must actively ensure a conducive and safe environment for children to be confident enough to report abuse. 

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This is the message from Childline SA - with it's national head office based in Durban, KZN - during the 16 Days of Activism Against the Abuse of Women and Children. 

Childline was founded in 1986 in KZN in response to the high levels of child sexual abuse in the country and has since grown to have offices in all nine provinces.

ALSO READ: INFOGRAPHIC: UNICEF SA - Violence against children

Amongst other crucial functions, the organisation provides therapeutic social services for children who are victims of violence, as well as their families. It also hosts programmes that raise awareness concerning the prevention of violence against children.

Childline SA director, Nomvuyo Shabangu says the hope of the organisation is to see growth in the support for children.

According to the organisation, there are myths associated with child abuse that still need to be challenged. These include... 

Children are usually molested by strangers;

Men who abuse are psychotic or retarded;

Incest only happens to girls;

The child always feels negative towards the offender;

Mothers know of incest and condone it;

It does not happen in my family or community; and

There is no love and affection in families in which abuse occur.

A study conducted by researchers at UNICEF states a number of cases pertaining to sexual and physical abuse are perpetrated by those closest to them. 

Child abuse statistics

Shabangu says children should feel empowered to report abuse as soon as it occurs.

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