The South African Child Gauge 2019 calls for the prioritisation of child and adolescent health in order to disrupt the intergenerational cycles of poverty and violence, and ensure that all of South Africa's children are able to thrive.
We don’t need more research, we need action. Some of what must be done is already outlined in South African laws and policies. The Children’s Act, for instance, makes violence prevention interventions mandatory.
In June, the Children's Institute, as part of a group of concerned academics and civil society leaders wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to make violence against women and violence against children in ALL it's forms a top priority for his new cabinet. The president's office sent us a lacklustre response that same month.
In Africa 14.5% of children under the age of 16 are suffering from the effects of violence – both collective and interpersonal violence – resulting in long-term trauma. In the Western Cape the prevalence is 17%, with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affecting 8% of under-16s and generalised anxiety disorder affecting 11%.