What to do if my rights are not respected?
If you think you’re being abused you probably are but just in case you aren’t sure exactly what the definition of abuse is, read further.
Definition of Child Abuse
Sometimes you think your rights are being violated but you aren’t exactly certain. Child abuse is;
“Any interaction or lack of interaction by a parent or caretaker which results in the non- accidental harm to the child’s physical and/or developmental state.”
The term child abuse therefore includes not only the physical non-accidental injury of children, but also emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Therefore abuse can range from habitually humiliating a child to not giving the necessary care.
Myths about Child Abuse
There are many myths about child abuse, for example:
- children are usually molested by strangers;
- there is a universal taboo in all cultures about incest; men who abuse are psychotic or retarded;
- incest only happens to girls;
- the child always feels negative towards the offender;
- mothers know of incest and condone it;
- it does not happen in my family or community; and
- there is no love and affection in families in which abuse occurs.
I need to report abuse – where do I go or what should I do?
- The South African Constitution set up the Human Rights Commission to investigate situations where rights have been abused.
- You could contact them www.hrc.org.za.
- Contact Childline on their toll-free Helpline 116
- Speak to your parents.
- Speak to your educator or someone you trust at school like a school counsellor. They should know what to do.
For more information regarding recognising child abuse,