South Africa: The Prevalence of Child Abuse Cries Out for More Government Action


Child deaths related to abuse and neglect are especially common in children under five, highlighting the vulnerability of young children to violence and neglect in the home. Children under five are most likely to be killed in the first six days of life, largely as a result of abandonment.

The year 2019 was a year of outrage about violence against women and children. It was also a year of concerted effort by child protection activists to prevent abuse and abandonment-related child deaths. Yet in the battle to minimise violence and stop child deaths, the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children brought no substantial policy amendments. The reasons are simple: while the causes of child deaths are easily identifiable, fixing them is a lot more challenging. What the government does next will determine what the child violence and death statistics will look like this time next year.

Preventing child deaths is one of the many challenges South Africa faces. The 2009 Child Death Review, which focused on natural and unnatural deaths, found that child deaths related to abuse and neglect were especially common in children under five, highlighting the vulnerability of young children to violence...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.