May 2013

Talk about rape to protect children

Written by Noluthando Mkhize
To mark Child Protection Week, Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA) has embarked on a campaign to educate young boys about rape.

Child Protection Week runs from 27 May to 3 June. It serves as a battle cry to rally all South Africans against child abuse.

CWSA has emphasised the need to educate young boys about rape following the increase in sexual abuse and violence committed by minors against other minors.

“We have designed a community-based Boy Child Programme to assist, guide and support boys to engage in proactive and constructive behaviour in becoming sexually and morally responsible as nurturers and caregivers,” says CWSA national training manager Shamien Rugunandan.

CWSA provincial offices will run the programme throughout the country.

During Child Protection Week, South Africans are encouraged to wear a green ribbon to show their support for the rights and protection of children. Green signifies life, growth and nurturing.

The aim of child protection programmes is to highlight the rights, safety and protection of children, says Rugunandan.

“Children in South Africa are often faced with challenges ranging from poverty, physical, emotional and sexual abuse to negligence. It is disturbing that most of the offenders or suspects in recent rape cases are children themselves.” Rugunandan says it is important for communities to work together to protect vulnerable children.

She adds that the Children’s Act compels members of the community to report any act that compromises the safety of children. The abuse of a child must be reported immediately to social workers or police and the child must immediately be removed from danger.

CWSA is calling on leaders, who display values of integrity, responsibility, morality and accountability in their personal and professional lives, to become mentors. Such leaders will be good role models for young boys, Rugunandan points out.

To become a mentor call CWSA on 011 452 4110 for application forms.

You can also contact Childline on 0800 055 555 to get more details about their initiatives.

For more information on CWSA and Child Protection Week go to Child Welfare SA
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