There is a strong need for official data focusing on the prevalence of child abuse, including sexual offences against minors, according to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
Speaking at the launch of the Child Witness Foundation in Sandton, Johannesburg, yesterday, Madonsela said intensified research was needed on the causes of crime, particularly against children. According to Madonsela, this would help society, including government and organisations like the Child Witness Foundation, develop programmes to address the scourge.
The foundation was expected to amplify the work of the Child Witness Institute, a nonprofit organisation devoted to issues of child abuse, including research that has helped shape policy. It will focus on research relating to prevention programmes and training for officials who provide care to traumatised children. Madonsela encouraged victims to report sexual crimes to authorities.
On the crime statistics, she said anecdotal evidence showed that the murder of children had increased over the years. She hoped the country’s crime statistics would, in future, focus on the number of incidents solved.