WATCH: Child Welfare protests against abuse outside court

Kempton Park Child Welfare staff and children under its care, outside Kempton Park Magistrate's Court.

Kempton Park Child Welfare took to Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court in a silent protest for 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children on Wednesday.

For an hour, between 10am and 11am, staff of the welfare and children under its care, stood outside the court to demonstrate their stance against the issue.

Senior social worker of the organisation, Alice Thandi, said the protest was taken to court as it is the place that deals with the perpetrators. She said the purpose of the campaign was also aimed at informing the public about the prevalence of the issue in society.

“We want violence against women and children to stop now. We deal with a lot of domestic violence, which in many cases end up with children being affected.

“Some children get caught up in the fights between their parents while others are neglected by their parents, not necessarily because they choose to but because there are other pressures they are dealing with,” Thandi said.

She said children were easily susceptible to abuse, especially when a parent doesn’t pay any attention to them. She says this is mainly because they have to deal with marital problems.

“A neighbour who may be aware of such a situation may take advantage of the child. In other instances we had to remove children from such families simply because it was not in the child’s best interest to be there while we were working with the parents. We had to send them to counselling or put them in rehabilitative programmes.”

She said society deals with a lot of child violence such as sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse.

“There is so much violence against children and because they are minors, they cannot defend themselves. Children easily trust people and that makes them vulnerable,” Thandi said.

She said the demonstration would bring awareness and seeks to bring those who are guilty of abusing women and children to book.

“In certain cases perpetrators of these crimes tend to get away with abuse, mostly because children cannot speak out and there is a lack of evidence. People are covering up for these perpetrators because they are trying to protect their families. So, when it comes to voicing these issues, the voice is still minimal, which is something we want people to know about,” she said.

16 Days of Activism For No Violence against Women and Children takes place from November 25 to December 10 every year.

Tumi Riba

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