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.
Promoting positive relationships between caregivers and their children early on can reduce childhood aggression and help prevent violence in adulthood. Sikhula ndawonye is a locally relevant, culturally appropriate parenting programme that aims to promote effective parenting practices and maternal coping skills.
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.