Building communities free of violence

Violence against children has long-term effects that impact not just the development of our children, but the development of our nation. A costing study commissioned by Save the Children South Africa estimated that early exposure to violence during childhood resulted in the loss of R238-billion in human capital – the equivalent to 6% of the GDP[1].

Violence against children remains widespread in South Africa. According to the Optimus Study on Child Abuse, Violence and Neglect in South Africa[2], one in five South African children (both boys and girls) had experienced sexual abuse in their lifetimes, and one in three respondents reported having experienced physical abuse – they had either been hit, beaten or kicked by an adult caregiver – in their lifetime[3].

In this brief, PATCH Helderberg Child Abuse Centre and Clowns Without Borders South Africa share their experience – and lessons learnt – implementing a community-level programme to address the drivers of violence against children in the Helderberg Basin in the Western Cape.

Download the Networks learning brief here or page through it in ISSUU below – choose full-screen mode [   ] for a better reading experience.  You can download the full Hands-on Learning publication (Issue 14) here.


[1] Gould C, Hsiao C. 2017. Building an inclusive economy: why preventing violence and supporting families is essential. Joint Submission to the National Treasury by the Institute for Security Studies and Save the Children South Africa.

[2] This study provides the first-ever representative data in South Africa on both incidence and prevalence of different forms of violence and maltreatment (including sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and neglect) against children.

[3] Optimus Study. 2015. Research Bulletin: The Optimus Study on Child Abuse, Violence and Neglect in South Africa. Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention & The University of Cape Town.

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