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Protect children from violence

UNICEF/South Africa/Rheeder
© UNICEF/South Africa/Rheeder

Fact: 40 per cent of reported rapes are committed against children in South

Violence against children and women

Helping reduce violence and abuse against children and women is an imperative that UNICEF takes very seriously in South Africa. We work with the Government, police, legal system, medical services and communities to prevent violence and provide support to victims and survivors.

Take Note

  • 54,924 women and children were raped in 2005/2006. The real number of rapes may be much higher as sexual violence is grossly under-reported.
  • The average age of a victim and sexual offender is decreasing.
  • The use of brutal force such as gang rape is increasing.
  • 88 per cent of victims know their abuser.
  • Children and women who are raped are at great risk of becoming infected with HIV.

Take Action

Help us stop violence. UNICEF supports civil society organisations in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo to tackle sexual violence head-on and improve vulnerable children’s access to social services. Activities range from training men as activists in the fight against child abuse and gender-based violence to promoting access to health services and care for orphaned children.

UNICEF is also helping train medical professionals, social workers, investigators, prosecutors, magistrates and community leaders in all nine provinces to improve service delivery to victims and survivors of violence. So far, more than 4,000 service providers have been trained.

Help us support victims and survivors. Thuthuzela Care Centres provide a 24-hour service for children and women who have been assaulted and raped. This includes removing victims from crowded police stations and placing them in a more victim-friendly room before transporting them in an ambulance to the centre where they receive counselling, a medical examination, HIV testing and antiretroviral treatment. The centres are also linked to sexual offences courts and have proved to reduce the time it takes to finalise rape cases from two years to six months. Thuthuzela, which means ‘comfort’ in Xhosa, is operational in 12 public hospitals.

You Can Make A Difference

Our goal for 2007 is to expand community anti-violence programmes in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo and to increase the number of Thuthuzela Care Centres to 18.

  • A gift of R1,440,000 can help set up one child-friendly Thuthuzela Care Centre and cover its running costs for one year.
  • A gift of R4,752,000 can train multidisciplinary service providers in responding to and supporting abused children and women.

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