Over 226 cases of child abuse have been reported at the the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) since January 2020.

The 226 cases, which range from January to May 15, are related to child abuse, neglect and/or violence. Within the first 15 days of May alone there have been 30 cases.

“It’s too early to tell if there has been an increase in child abuse and neglect cases during lockdown,” says Carla Brown, head of Social Work at the hospital, via a statement. “As a tertiary hospital, we usually see the worst cases of abuse and violence against children here and during the lockdown we know this hasn’t necessarily decreased.”

The table below indicates the child abuse cases presented at RCWMCH per month:

January 2020

68

February 2020

34

March 2020

46

April 2020

48

May 2020
(up to 15 May)

30

It’s Child Protection Week  and RCWMCH spokesperson Dwayne Evans urges everyone to speak up and do their part to reduce these statistics.

“We have to take a hard stand for the vulnerable in our society. We call on everyone who witnesses or suspects child neglect, and / or violence against children, to please step forward and report the cases,” says Evans.

“The Constitution of South Africa has made Children’s Rights a priority. Children have a right to be protected and nurtured. All of us have the responsibility to do our part in ensuring the best interest of the child. The Hospital urges all adults to be advocates for children around them,” says Dr Anita Parbhoo, medical manager.

Below are additional statistics provided by ChildSafe:

Emergency Centre visits: Trauma

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

January
2020

February
2020

Transport
(including MVA and pedestrian accidents)

1146

1044

897

1097

771

48

54

Assault
(including rape/sexual assault)

322

280

228

266

218

12

13

Burns
(all types)

1851

1284

1167

1117

880

61

42

Falls

2626

3017

2767

2750

2819

253

165

Miscellaneous (including gunshot injuries, stabbings, dog bites and drowning)

1604

1805

1743

1764

1725

164

111

Unknown Cause

160

111

162

134

148

9

13

Total

7709

7541

6964

7128

6561

549

396

 Get help

The Department of Social Development has piloted a 24-hour call centre dedicated to provide support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence. The toll-free number to call is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling.

Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.

You can also get help at:

Childline South Africa: 0800 055 555

Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 4 CHILD (24453) / 011 452-4110 / e-mail: [email protected]

Picture: Pixabay

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