‘Local kids need more help’

2017-11-14 06:00

The founder of the Hope House Counselling Centre in Bergvliet is stressing the need for more child counsellors to help deal with child trauma and abuse.

A total of 66 child murders have been recorded in this province so far this year.

National Children’s Day, which was marked on Saturday 4 November, aims to raise awareness of children’s rights, explains Judy Strickland, founder of the non-profit organisation.

“Trauma and violence are an all too common occurrence in South Africa, whether it’s armed robberies, domestic abuse or divorce,” she says.

“Sadly, children are often caught in the crossfire. There is a dire shortage of volunteer child counsellors – we currently have a waiting list of 48 children across our three centres who are in need of professional help.

“A six-month delay in child abuse intervention is also not helping the situation.”

With over 13 years of counselling experience, Strickland emphasises the importance of trauma resolution at a young age.

National Children’s Day also highlights the need to protect children’s rights and look after their physical and mental wellbeing, she says.

“We have a responsibility to ensure the safety of our children.

“Counselling enables them to voice their trauma and overcome any obstacles they may experience.

“Early childhood intervention will help break the cycle of abuse – a damaged child all too often becomes the adult perpetrator,” says Strickland.

Her counselling centre offers donation-based counselling services and runs at three centres in Bergvliet, Kuils River and Table View as well as in schools across the city.

Hope House’s counsellors see people from as young as three years old.

V For more information contact Hope House on 081 500 3054 or visit www.hopehouse.org.za.

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