But we soon realised that there were just too many horror stories:
- The toddler who was killed by her parents for not saying ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’.
- The dad who killed his toddler in revenge over child support.
- The five children who were killed by their father because of their mother’s affair.
- The father who killed his teenage daughter who was pregnant with his child.
- The mother who murdered her children to cover up the fact that her partner had raped her daughter.
One could gather another 50 similar stories, but to what end? What good does it do for us to read these horror stories?
Are these parents aberrations, just crazy folks who do what normal people wouldn’t?
Children in South Africa
To me the fundamental thing all these parents have in common is a lack of respect for the child as an individual who has rights. Instead they seem to see the child as an extension to themselves, a possession to be disposed of at the parent’s whim.
I’m glad to live in a country where child’s rights are entrenched in our constitution. This year we hit a milestone when it was decided to extend the child grant to children up to the age of 18.
But we do have a long way to go when it comes to protecting and supporting our children.
According to one horrific statistic, a child is raped every three minutes in this country.
Another report claimed that there are over 10 000 child prostitutes in Johannesburg alone.
So how do we cope with this?
- By being responsible citizens in our own lives.
- By treating our own children as human beings in their own right.
- By reporting child abuse if we witness it.
- By supporting organisations like Rapcan, Childline, and Child Welfare that step in to help children when the rest of society has failed them.
Read more by Adele Hamilton