Critical thinking is essential for both solving maths problem and deciding to find alternatives to violence in one’s daily life. Yet these skills is rarely the focus of violence prevention programmes - an opportunity that is generally missed.
Violence in childhood is harmful not only to the individual but it is also destructive to the well-being of our society. A recent study commissioned by Save the Children SA provides evidence that by preventing violence against children we build a more wholesome society whilst also boosting South Africa’s economy.
Preventing and reducing stubbornly high levels of violence in South Africa can only be achieved if the country focuses on ensuring that children are not exposed to violence or toxic stress at home, and that they are warmly cared for.
One in every three young South Africans has experienced some sort of sexual abuse by the age of 17 according to the final Optimus Study South Africa, the first nationally representative study on child sexual abuse and maltreatment in South Africa.
The Umhlali Project is an early crime and violence prevention project based in Walmer Township, Port Elizabeth. It has the overarching goal of designing, implementing and evaluating an early crime and violence prevention project that can be replicated in other areas.
Sadick Da Silva has been working with youth in communities in the Cape Flats for over thirty years. In this interview, Sadick speaks about how sports programmes can help strengthening youth and uplifting their communities, the challenges NGOs face in their work and why we need to start pointing fingers at ourselves.
South Africa takes a front seat when it comes to developing and evaluating programmes that have a proven impact in preventing violence. This was one of the key messages at a seminar by the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria on the 15th of April 2015. The speakers presented research as to how investing in primary prevention of violence, particularly evidence-based parenting and early-childhood interventions, has proven to be effective in reducing and preventing violent behaviour.
In this commentary on the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), Chandré Gould from the Institute for Security Studies explains why there is a need to focus on early childhood interventions if we want to sustainably reduce crime and violence in South Africa.
On 25 November 2014, a global research and innovation programme to help prevent violence against women and girls was launched in South Africa by the UK International Development Minister, Baroness Northover.
“In South Africa, over half of our children have experienced some form of violence from an early age. This has a long-lasting, negative impact on future generations”, says Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town. “The good news is that this violence can be prevented. This requires a shift in our approach to the problem. Currently efforts focus on responding to incidents of violence. But it is more effective to invest in programmes that prevent violence and protect our children before they get hurt.”