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7 strategies to end violence against children

Image used from: https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/stories/end_violence_against_children.htm

Seven strategies to end violence against children

Childline Gauteng celebrates the New Dawn in South Africa, led by our president, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, and give thanks for his dedication and strategies beginning to rebuild our country. We look forward to an era of growth, in which we can address the structural causes of violence (recognizing that violence is always a personal choice) that our children and families face every day.

The destruction of morale and institutional capacity caused by corruption and state capture have had a profoundly negative impact on children, families, communities and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), exacerbating historical anger and current levels of violence.

We invite you to join the Childline Community in heeding the Presidential ‘Thuma Mina’ call, to once again engage in reconstruction and development.  Support our services aimed at ending violence against children based on seven strategies shown by international research commissioned by the World Health Organization (2016) to be effective.

Prevention and early intervention services acting against violence makes both moral and economic sense: Save the Children South Africa estimate the cost of violence against children to be R238 billion in one year, in their publication, Violence Unwrapped (2016).

We have a collective long-term strategy to transition to democratic human rights based communities and peaceful coexistence.  The Childline services, all aligned to Inspire – Seven Strategies to End Violence Against Children (World Health Organisation 2016), are key to promoting strength and positive values (see below).  In summary, we reached 558 066 individuals in 2017/18 financial year through:

  • 24/7 Toll Free Help Line – 401 347 calls dialled to us.
  • The Childline Community Based Centres – 1988 children and their families received 9381 individual and 166 group counselling sessions.
  • The Community Awareness and Prevention Project (CAPP) – School Talks Programme in 91 schools; 73 ECDs; Five junior LEADers Programmes; four holiday programmes; 145 workshops for educators and caregivers reaching 106 205 children and 11 586 adults.
  • The Training Department rendered 20 workshops reaching 588 lay and professional people.
  • 98 children in foster care, 17 youth in the Independent Living Programme, 179 children in life threatening circumstances placed in the Sunlight House Reception Centre overnight and 592 overnight stays.
  • Community Activations – 121 engagements reaching 36 058 community members to promote child sensitivity on all issues such as trauma, abuse, sexuality, substance abuse and health.

The Inspire – Seven Strategies to End Violence Against Children, published by the World Health Organization (2016) confirm, through international research, that the above services are all key to promoting peaceful relations for youth:

  1. Implementation and enforcement of laws

While South Africa has outstanding legislation and policy pertaining to children, accessing justice is often extremely problematic.  We advocate for the right to protection and legal services for each individual client survivor of crime.

  1. Norms and values

Through our community activations, training and counselling services we promote positive cultural values of African Humanism and child rearing practices.  Providing information and alternatives to the harmful practices of: all forms of abuse; Ukuthwala (child marriages); corporal punishment; gender based violence; illegal initiation schools; etc., promotes knowledge and empowerment as well as prevention and restitution for survivors.

  1. Safe environments

Safety tips for caregivers and children and public calls for communities to be aware of vulnerable youth aid in the co-creation of safer environments.

  1. Parent and caregiver support

We offer comprehensive positive parenting workshops and public talks at clinics and schools within communities as well as individual telephone and face to face counselling sessions.

  1. Income and economic strengthening

This is promoted by sharing information and referrals for social grants and identification documents.

  1. Response and support services

Face to face and telephone counselling, foster care services and overnight emergency care for those in life threatening circumstance promote healing for children and families.

  1. Education and life skills

     Provided in our awareness and prevention project in primary schools.

Our SA Constitution and Bill of Rights provide a guide to the restoration of our values and the reclaiming of our hard-won democracy through the principles of equality, dignity and life. The Childline Gauteng mission seeks to implement this Bill of Rights.

Our expertise, having implementing all seven strategies for the past 30 years is well established.  We are the one children’s organisation that works around the clock, 365 days a year. We are dedicated to finding solutions to ensure that this generation have the emotional, spiritual and mental intelligence to positively advance the country into the future.

We therefore urge our leaders – political and corporate – to place the well-being of our children and the future adults of our society, high on their agenda.  Never give up on our children!  They are precious beyond our imaginings and a successful future South Africa is dependent on their resilience and ethical development.

Lynne Cawood

Director:  Childline Gauteng

 

Bibliography:

Inspire – Seven strategies to end violence against children. (The World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), End Violence Against Children: The Global Partnership, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); President’s Emergency Progam for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Together for Girls (TfG), United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) United States Agency for International Development (USAID): 2016.

Violence Unwrapped – The Cost of Violence Against Children. Save the Children South Africa: (2016). 

Optimus Study on the Sexual Victimisation of Children in South Africa. The Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention. (2016).

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