SA failing its children - study

2012-08-22 22:14

Bloemfontein - More than 1 018 South African children were murdered in 2009, but the figure could be higher, according to a study by the Medical Research Council (MRC) on child murders.

"As a nation we are actually failing our children if we do not look at how to prevent these deaths," Dr Shanaaz Mathews, a researcher at MRC, said on Wednesday.

The report indicated that policies and practices in relation to the protection of children were having little effect in keeping children safe in their homes and communities.

Mathews said children had all the constitutional protection possible in South Africa.

Nearly half of the murder cases recorded in the study, more than 44%, were the result of child abuse and neglect.

More than a third, 35%, of child abuse were because of abandonment within the first week after birth.

The study found that almost three quarters of these cases occurred among children younger than four. In this age group, 54.5% of cases involved girls.

In all the older age groups, significantly more of the victims were also girls.

Mathews said the study showed child murders had a distinct age and gender pattern, which had important implications for prevention and intervention strategies.

The study highlighted abandoned babies, fatal child abuse and interpersonal violence affecting mostly teenage boys.

"Abuse most likely is not a once-off incident, but related to a pattern of behaviour," the report found.

The study revealed excessive rates of teenage male murders, with these deaths related to the use of weapons in the context of interpersonal violence.

It also showed that children were mostly killed by a known person who was not related, which was most common for boys.

The second-most frequent perpetrator group involved female parents - nearly half of all girl homicides were perpetrated by mothers.

Mathews said South Africa had progressive legislation around abortion and that contraception services were readily available in communities.

"Why are women abandoning babies?" she asked.

South Africa needed a friendlier adoption service.

"If there is an unwanted baby, women must know what their choices are in terms of adoption."

  • social12345 - 2012-08-22 22:25

    "Suffer Little Children?, to come unto me..."

      fredster.mania.5 - 2012-08-23 06:49

      With a President that has a few wives, to a useless youth leader that only think of his own gratification...what do you expect?

      kimsaiyanprincess.murison - 2012-08-23 08:24

      - Surely you do not need presidential or ministerial role models to look after your own children? Try to hurt a puppy and see what the mother dog does.

  • joe.peters.56 - 2012-08-22 22:34

    Vote DA

  • Desilusionada - 2012-08-23 00:34

    Nearly 3 a day. That is not even the amount of children dying in some war torn countries! So what has Ms. Woman & Children Minister done about it? Instead of sitting and being grossly overpaid, she should perhaps solicit help from her colleagues in Police, Social Welfare, Health and most certainly Education. But if 3 miners were shot every day, this country would look worse than Hades.............

  • tw2066 - 2012-08-23 05:11

    SA is failing period.

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-08-23 13:52

      SA has failed.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-08-23 05:45

    The more kids that suffer now, mean later will be worse... Abusers were abused! so stop abusing!!!

      kimsaiyanprincess.murison - 2012-08-23 08:28

      - We are going to have angry, violent teenagers and adults just continueing the cycle.

  • stefan.kruger.1297 - 2012-08-23 07:21

    Good to see that research has been done... but they totally forgot about the children on the street, the homeless children that dies because they cant survive... why?? because our government choose to spend millions on changing street names, parties, zumaville and crap that we don't need right now... This country has one problem, we don't know how to prioritize our problems... Look at the children first id say, they are the ones that will be controlling the future... and its our lack of commitment to them that will eventually bite us all in the Behind..

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-23 07:38

    Interesting that the gospel writers mention twice to my memory Jesus' view of children. This seems to be that, other things equal, children possess a natural humility and reverence, things we pledge for survival and lose in greed. Yet these qualities can be recovered through meditation .. it doesn't take much ..

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-23 10:25

    We have failed, period. Some more than others. Unfortunately the biggest failures will be voted back into office by those suffering the most. It sounds like a script for an Opera, but it isn't.

  • rochelle.minnis.3 - 2012-08-31 13:43

    Hang them, castrate them... It just goes on and on and on. Why do they have more rights than our little angels? Like the news report indicates, this is hardly ever a once off occurrence, but something routed within the perpetrator. Our country does not have the resources to protect our kids, nor the resources to rehabilitate the criminal :( #Death sentence!!! If news of raping a virgin cured AIDS could ravage the country in a matter of months, what do you think these criminals will do if they knew, they'd be hanged for there crimes against humanity?! Just a question. #Protect our kids

  • nicolaas.geldenhuys - 2012-09-05 10:32

    We don't need a study to tell us that SA is failing, and it's not just failing our children, it's failing everything!

  • beryl.knipe - 2012-09-05 12:56

    Giving power to the inferior components of a nation could only produce inferior results. Those mediocre and substandard minds - uneducated, self-centred, avaricious, prejudiced, chauvinistically patriotic - would ultimately bring about the downfall of their society and it's starting with UNSUSPECTING little children. SHAME on you, ANC, SHAME on you!!!

  • jessica.main.501 - 2012-09-20 10:32

    dont understand why people doing this to children. children didnt choose to be born. some parents are stuggle to have kid, but some dont care about it . what is wrong with this people ?cant they think before they do anything? its so sad to hear something like that happen.

  • melissa.maree.710 - 2012-12-07 13:08

    why are mothers abandoning babys ? please go and look at the child support courts and how they operate ITS NO EXCUSE but TRUTH

  • Janet Elizabeth Powell - 2014-01-21 00:36

    The figures show a breakdown by age and gender and even type of crime. Is there a breakdown of perpetrator and victim by race as well?

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