Child abuse is costing the country billions

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Studies show that one in three South African children have experienced a form of sexual abuse. Organisations such as Save the Children are all working hard to educate people and eradicate abuse.

The international organisation, backed by well-known celebrities such as Terry Pheto, Alicia Keys and John Legend, has a campaign during the 16 Days of activism to shed light on abuse and how it is not only affecting society but the nation’s coffers al well. With such an enormous figure, it is time for everyone to play a part and report abuse or assist children in need.

Dr Lerato Dikobe-Kalane, of the psychiatry management group, highlights how abusive homes affect children’s behaviour and even later in their adulthood. “Children who grow up in families where there is violence may suffer a range of behavioural and emotional disturbances. These can also be associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life.”

Signs that a child is being abused according

Childline offer these guidelines for parents and caregivers

Emotional Abuse:

Withdrawal

Failure to thrive

Extremely poor self-concept

Habit disorders

Speech disorder

Development lags

Physical Abuse:

Unbelievable explanations for injuries

Weary of adult contacts

Behavioural extremes

Apprehensive when other children cry

Frightened of parents and afraid to go home

Absence from school, particularly on Mondays

Reports injury by parents

Lags in emotional and intellectual development

If you fear a child is being abused Contact the police on 10111 or Childline on their toll-free line 08000 55 555.

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