SUNDAY marked the beginning of Child Protection Week (May 27 to June 3), this year’s theme being ‘Let us all protect children to move South Africa forward’.
According to the department of Social Development, one in five children in SA is subjected to some sort of sexual, emotional or physical abuse before they turn 18.
Social worker Mandisa Maruge slated the posting of pictures of half-naked people on social media: “Sex on social media is very dangerous for kids, as that is where they see things they are not taught at home. If adults can only work with us and stop sending pornographic videos and pictures, kids will know they don’t have to be naked to feel pretty.”
Peter Kruger of Fidelity ADT urged parents to educate children about safety while giving them the necessary tools to deal with a crisis. “While we don’t want our children to live in fear, we do need to have frank conversations about what to do in a crises situation.”
The golden rule is never to antagonise the criminal who is probably more scared than you are. Show them you are not a threat. Unless facing an imminent life-and-death situation, never fight back and readily hand over any material possessions.
“Encourage your children to try and get a good look at criminals and memorise physical details, clothing and cars. Listen for names or other details that might help identify them later.
“Remind your children to try and remain calm if not threatened so the criminal can get what he or she wants and move off.”
Kruger said these simple actions can often keep a child safe. He also reminds parents to constantly reinforce general safety tips for children (read the full story at www.cxpress.co.za).
• They must always walk to or from school with a friend or friends. Stick to streets they know and never take short cuts through quiet areas or empty parking lots and never walk with cell phones and iPads in full view.
• If they get picked up at school, they should never leave the premises but always wait inside the school grounds for their lift to arrive.
• They must never get into a stranger’s car; even if the stranger claims that someone they love is hurt and that they have been sent to pick them up. Remind them that you would never send someone they don’t know to fetch them.
• If a stranger approaches them, they should not talk to them no matter how friendly they may seem. If someone tries to grab them, they need to fight, kick and shout out that the person is not their mom or dad.