Child safety is EVERYONE’S business
As we commemorate National Child Protection Week from 29 May to 5 June 2016, we should be reminded that it is our responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children within our communities.
Child Protection Day was started in 1997 and its aim is to create awareness of Children’s rights. Every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse and/or degradation.
Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz emphasises that Child safety is everyone’s business.
He says “Parents must play a leading role in ensuring the provision of a safe, enabling and nurturing society for our children. As DSD we will continue to play our part in protecting children as guided by the Children’s Act.”
If you suspect that a child is being abused, maltreated or neglected, you can report the situation to the DSD Hotline on 0800 220 250 (toll-free).
If a child is in immediate danger, report the incident to the South African Police Service (SAPS) on 10111 or at the nearest police station.
Possible physical indicators of child abuse include:
- Unusual or excessive itching or pain in the genital or anal area
- Torn, stained of bloody underclothes
- Unexplained burns, fractures or dislocations and bruises, swelling, lacerations, redness or bleeding in the genital, vaginal or anal area
- Blood in urine or stools
- Sexually transmitted infection
- Multiple fractures at different stages of healing
- Bald patches or bruises on the head
- Bruising around the mouth
- Malnutrition and eating disorders
- Difficulty in walking or sitting
Possible behavioural indicators of child abuse include:
- Age inappropriate play with toys, eg. Replication of explicit sexual acts and age inappropriate sexually explicit drawings
- Sophisticated or unusual sexual knowledge
- Refusal to go home or to the home of a relative or friend for no apparent reason
- Bed wetting; withdrawal from peer group activities; deterioration of school work
- Drastic changes in the character of the child eg. used to be even tempered and suddenly extremely aggressive
Let’s make it our business to protect all children from exploitation, neglect and abuse.
Other useful contacts include:
Lifeline Western Cape: 0861 322 322
Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 424 453
Childline: 08000 55 555
Crimestop: 08600 10 111
For more information:
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 076 083 6543
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za