'If you expose a child to violence early on it has a long-term effect'

Sunday kicked off the commemoration of Child Protection Week.

In its 22nd year, the campaign is being observed under the theme Let us Protect All Children to Move South Africa Forward.

Several South African studies point to an increase in violence against children.

John Maytham spoke to University of Cape Town Children’s Institute director Professor Shannaz Matthews about the systemic failing revealed by the government on its programmes.

There is not sufficient funding, and the programmes are not implemented in an integrated way.

Professor Shanaaz Matthews, Director- Children’s Institute University of Cape Town

One of the big flaws is that they are not evidence-based, which means they are not drawing in the latest evidence around prevention and what are the best programs to be reducing violence against women and children.

Professor Shanaaz Matthews, Director- Children’s Institute University of Cape Town

Matthews says violence has to be addressed particularly in the home.

If you expose a child to violence early on it has a long term effect.

Professor Shanaaz Matthews, Director - University of Cape Town Children’s Institute

Early exposure to violence increases the child's risk to either become a victim or perpetrator.

Professor Shanaaz Matthews, Director - University of Cape Town Children’s Institute

The use of corporal punishment is another problem. Harsh physical punishment is often used under the disguise of discipline.

Professor Shanaaz Matthews, Director - University of Cape Town Children’s Institute

Listen to the full interview below...


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'If you expose a child to violence early on it has a long-term effect'


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