In light of the recent media reports of children of school-going age being abused, it is important for parents to be on the lookout for signs if all is well with your child.
Abuse comes in various forms, including emotional, physical and sexual.
There are warning signs parents can be on the lookout for, including, but not limited to:
– unexplained bruises, scratches, and cuts on the body;
– the child may seem sad, moody, or depressed;
– the child can show signs of withdrawal;
– loss of appetite;
– trouble sleeping;
– may demonstrate a poor self-esteem;
– may have suicidal thoughts or attempts to commit suicide may even occur;
– a loss of interest in or refusal to go to school and extramural activities;
– there could be frequent complaints of illness to avoid attending school; and
– a sudden decrease in academic performance.
Parents should develop an open and communicative relationship with their children. Parents should also talk to their children about their day at school on a daily basis.
Incidents of abuse should be reported to the South African Police Service.
Gender based violence victims can call the toll free number on 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) and will be able to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling. Callers can also request a social worker from the command centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from a cell phone.