MANY children suffer abuse, and this scourge causes scars the whole country must bear.
The children’s rights organisation Save the Children South Africa’sCost Study, which investigated the cost of violence on Mzansi children, found that just last year alone, violence against children cost us R238,58 billion.
The study looked at data collected from national directories, surveys and reports, and was led by the University of Cape Town together with the University of Edinburgh and Georgia State University.
The study looked at the long-term effects of emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and its impact on the economy.
“It was important for us to quantify the cost of violence against children on our GDP to highlight the urgency with which we need to act.
“Violence against children, in all forms and in varying degrees, impacts on our economy. Infringing on the rights of children is just too costly for us to ignore anymore,” said Save the Children CEO, Gugu Ndebele.
She said this study provided the research to help develop programmes needed to reduce child abuse.
What the study revealed
- 7,2% of South African children will suffer from sexual violence.
- 26,1% of South African children will suffer from physical violence.
- 12,6% of South African children will suffer from emotional violence.
- 12,2% of South African children will suffer from neglect.
- Girls are about 30% more likely to suffer from emotional violence and neglect than boys.
- Victims of sexual abuse are 4,9 times more likely to abuse drugs.
- Victims of childhood physical abuse are 1,34 times more likely to become obese.
- Victims of childhood physical abuse are 1,41 times more likely to develop a serious mental illness.
- We lose 50% more healthy years of life through various abuse cases than to diabetes and strokes combined.
- Physical violence against children reduces the victim’s monthly earning potential by 11,7%.