The Child Advocacy Centre (CAC) in collaboration with the Child Rights Alliance (CRA) sensitized more than 150 students and 74 parents on child sexual abuse and positive parenting at the Vryheid’s Lust Primary School on Monday March 9, 2018.
The children were sensitized on what constitutes sexual abuse and how they can protect themselves. Children and parents were cautioned about certain myths about child sexual abuse. One common myth is perpetrators are usually strangers. However, reports are increasingly showing that perpetrators are usually someone known and trusted by both the child and the parent.
The parents were sensitized on positive parenting. Positive parenting focuses on developing a strong relationship between parent and child based on communication and mutual respect. Positive parenting focuses on helping children to internalize discipline rather than obeying rules based on fear of punishment. Parents were also sensitized about what constitutes child sexual abuse and the signs of possible child sexual abuse.
The CAC provides several services for child survivors of child sexual abuse and their families. These services include forensic interviews, trauma focused therapy and child care counselling for child survivors of sexual abuse. The CAC also offers court support to child survivors of sexual abuse during the court process. Finally, the CAC is currently taking a more proactive approach to child sexual abuse by conducting sensitization sessions to children and parents at schools and health centres. This effort aims to equip parents and children with knowledge that may prevent occurrences of child sexual abuse.
In 2017, the CAC sensitized more than 400 children.