Protect Our Children
Sign the petition to make police stations safe spaces for victims of child abuse.
Every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse and degradation. Unfortunately, high levels of violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect of children exist in South Africa. Police figures show that 24 000 children were abused in South Africa during the period 2019/2020. This must stop. Support the Abraham Kriel Children’s Home Nylstroom (AKKN) campaign to #ProtectOurChildren and ensure that police stations become safe spaces for victims of child abuse.
We live in a country where our children are exposed to different forms of child abuse daily. Although the causes of this crisis – both social and economic – should be of foremost concern, society’s response to and support of victims of child abuse need attention. This is important since the successful prosecution of perpetrators depends heavily upon the correct and effective response to an abuse case.
The responsibility of responding to and supporting victims of child abuse is firstly and foremostly that of the authorities. However, when cases are not reported or badly handled when reported, justice cannot be served. The large disparity between child abuse incidences and the number of reported cases of child abuse poses a clear problem. This situation raises the question of whether police stations are equipped to serve vulnerable children.
The analysis of Abraham Kriel Children’s Home Nylstroom highlighted the following problems at police stations:
- Charge offices are not child friendly.
- Charge offices lack the privacy required for victims of abuse.
- More one-stop centres are needed.
- More forensic social workers are needed in some provinces.
This points to the fact that police stations are ill-equipped to handle child abuse cases. As a result, this severely impacts the SAPS’s ability to obtain reports of child abuse and to investigate it adequately.
The Abraham Kriel Children’s Home Nylstroom calls on the SAPS and the Minister of Police to address these shortcomings urgently.