Cape Town – Non-profit organisation Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) says the latest crime statistics are devastating but not surprising, as the violence towards children has increased.
The remarks by WMACA follows after Police Minister Bheki Cele issued the latest crime statistics, revealing that over 500 children have been killed in just six months and over 1 000 assault cases were opened in which children are victims.
Speaking to eNCA, WMACA’s Luke Lamprecht, said that the latest crime statistics indicates that the country has little regard for the dignity and the lives of children, and it really starts at the time when children are conceived.
“Children, who are both unplanned and unwanted, are at risk of being harmed, and the majority of murder case reports that those who are unplanned usually get harmed by their caregivers.
“We have had cases highlighted in the media recently where people abduct or chop children into pieces and they absolutely have no regard for the lives and dignity of children. That speaks to people who care for them and the general population,” he said.
Lamprecht said an increase in crimes statistics like gender-based violence, child abuse and rape statistics was always a bad things.
“When we see an increase in these statistics it indicates that the public is reporting more such cases.
“When it comes to something like murder by people who are abducting children or people who who raise children in their homes, campaigns seem to have zero effect on how children are treated in their homes, including on people who prey on children on the streets,” he said.
An alarming factor is that both men and women are the perpetrators of violence against children.
"Very often women are the only caregivers, for example where you have mothers in their homes trying to raise children in the absence of the father, they feel the children are a burden in their lives and end up being violent and aggressive towards a child in their frustration,” Lamprecht said.
“The other scenario is when the mother stood by and chose a man over her children and the children becomes the victim of abuse because the perpetrator is providing financial support to the mother,” he said.
Lamprecht said most of the children they have given evidence on in court cases are infants and toddlers, who are totally dependent on their parents and are extremely vulnerable.