The terrifying prevalence of child sexual abuse is costing the country by the billion

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Despite the Children’s Act, the Child Justice Act and Section 28 of the South African constitution, SA's children remain exposed to physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as evidenced by horrifying facts revealed in the 2016 Optimus Study.

Conducted nationally by the University of Cape Town and the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention, the study revealed that by 17, nearly a million South Africans – 784 967 – experienced sexual abuse in one form or another. 

And making reference to a study by KPMG in 2014, this has had severe impact on the country’s economy, “between R28.4 billion and R42.4 billion for the 2012/2013 year alone.” 

And much more disheartening than the monetary loss, is that only 13% of this large number of citizens have reported abuse to the police. 

The TEARS Foundation has made an invaluable emergency helpline service available to all South Africans. 

By dialling the Help at Your Fingertips number – *134*7355# – callers will be given instant access to a database of service providers; including doctors, lawyers and psychologist equipped to provide support for victims at no cost.

Due to the prompt-based technology, the mobile portal will provide details of service providers nearest to the caller. 

If you’d like to access the helpline, dial *134*7355# for immediate assistance. 

For more details on how you can support the TEARS Foundation contact or call 010 590 5920. 

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If you'd like to write to Parent24 regarding child sexual abuse email to Please let us know if you would like to remain anonymous. 

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