Parliament: Parliament: Childhood survivors of violence likely to earn less as adults
The damaging effects of violence against children extend into adulthood and beyond the victims - to the country’s economy.
More political will is needed to fight violence against children, said Save the Children South Africa. During a briefing in Parliament on Tuesday, the development and rights-based organisation revealed that R238.58-billion of the South African economy in 2015 was lost to violence against children. Of this figure, physical violence against children cost the country R129- billion in 2015 and sexual violence cost the economy R28.6-billion. However, the figure for sexual violence may not be accurate, said Save the Children CEO Gugu Ndebele, as often children are not able to report sexual violence, especially by people known to them. Ndebele was reporting findings of the organisation's study that looked into the social and economic burden of violence against Children called Violence Unwrapped. Ndebele told the basic education committee that “by the time we finish this meeting, a child will have been abducted or killed,” and urged committee members to use their oversight role to ensure more is done to protect children. “We need to do whatever it takes for the children,” said Ndebele. The results of the study relays horrific statistics -- children who are victims of abuse will in life earn less than their counterparts who are not abused. Children who are victims of physical abuse are likely to see themselves earning 11.7% a month less than their counterparts who were not abused, the study found. In the report, Save the Children said that estimating the cost of violence against children is important in the following ways:
- It could raise awareness about the severity of violence against children;
- It would assist government officials and policymakers in prioritising funding and develop services; and
- Place the problem in the context of other public health concerns, like anxiety and other mental health illnesses.