Western Cape - 66 child murders this year

2017-11-01 20:40
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Cape Town – With 66 child murders already recorded in the Western Cape this year  "there was a need for more qualified child counsellors to address issues of child trauma and abuse," the Hope House Counselling Centre said on Wednesday.

The non-profit organisation revealed that there was also a six-month delay in child abuse intervention in the province.

"We currently have a waiting list of 48 children across our three centres which are in need of professional help," she said.

She said trauma and violence are an all too common occurrence in the country.

"Whether it's armed robberies, domestic abuse or divorce, sadly, children are often caught in the crossfire," said Judy Strickland, founder of Hope House.

Strickland said the organisation was in a dire shortage of volunteer child counsellors.

The aim of National Children's Day takes place on Saturday is to raise awareness around the realisation and promotion of children's rights.

Hope House centres in the Western Cape are in Bergvliet, Kuils Rivier and Table View. Their counsellors also travel to schools where they see children from as young as three years of age.

'Break the cycle'

"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," said Strickland. 

Strickland said childhood is a critical developmental period where children are extremely vulnerable to harmful influences around them.

She emphasised the importance of trauma resolution at a young age.

"The fallout of exposure to violence, abuse, loss and drug use can include impaired educational development, high levels of school drop-out rates, an increase in violence at a later age and a greater risk of developing mental disorders such as anxiety and depression," said Strickland.

She said the centre needs volunteer assistance from child counsellors in order to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

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

Read more on:    cape town  |  child abuse  |  crime

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