ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Lets fight the scourge of violence against women and children
Every time a child is murdered, the entire community is affected. Right now, several of our communities are facing immense trauma. Assisting these communities during this difficult time is the Department of Social Development’s top priority.
Just this past weekend, Kronendal Music Academy pupil Sibusiso Dakuse, a twelve-year-old boy was murdered; Reagan Gertse, a seven-year-old boy was murdered and found dead in a Tulbagh river. This while our communities are still mourning the death of Tazne van Wyk, the 8-year-old-girl from Elsies River, and the 7-year-old-girl, Emaan Solomons who was killed during a gang shooting.
In most of these cases, the alleged perpetrators are people who were known to the children. This is why we appeal to the whole of society – communities, government departments, and NGOs – to partner with us in driving child protection 365 days a year.
“ENOUGH is ENOUGH, we can no longer be the nation that is at war with its own children. I am appealing to every resident in our Province to work with authorities in our fight to end the violence against our beloved children. I also want to urge anyone in need of psychological support with regards to any form of trauma that they are facing, to make use of our Department’s psycho-social support services,” says Minister Fernandez.
Violence against our children has crossed all boundaries in our society and is fast becoming normalised. Reports indicate that violence during childhood is widespread, with 42% of children reporting some form of maltreatment in the first national prevalence study. Violence is conceptualised as: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse which all intersect. Importantly, these forms of violence may co-occur. Violence also includes sexual exploitation, cultural practices and corporal punishment (Children’s Institute, 2019).
DSD is ensuring that support and family preservation services are being provided to the family members and witnesses of those individuals involved in the above cases.
As DSD, we have adopted evidence-based, early prevention interventions across a life course approach in response to the complex and multi-dimensional nature of violence.
The Department of Social Development urges all residents of the province to make use of its child protection services, which includes:
A range of programmes and services for children showing signs of risky behaviour, which include safety and risk assessment services;
therapeutic and psycho-social services;
temporary safe care programmes;
programmes for children with behavioural, psychological and emotional challenges;
transitional care and support programmes for children about to exit alternative care;
The public can access our services by visiting any of our regional or local offices closest to them, or by contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.
If anyone requires a social worker or any form of psycho-social support, please contact us on our hotline number.
Only a whole of society approach can help address the root causes of this very serious challenge. We need communities, and civil society organizations to work with government to help alleviate the high levels of trauma and violence taking place in our communities.