TEARS: The Children of Our Country Must Be Kept Safe!

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TEARS: The Children of Our Country Must Be Kept Safe!

 

TEARS: The Children of Our Country Must Be Kept Safe!

The total estimated cost of physical and emotional violence against children was ZAR238.58 billion – or 6% of South Africa’s gross domestic product in 2015.

Research carried out by the University of Cape Town last year by the university’s Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention revealed that 12 children out of an average classroom of 40 have been abused and are sitting in your child’s classroom right now (http://bhekisisa.org/article/2016-06-05-four-frightening-facts-about-child-sexual-abuse-in-south-africa).

One in three young people reports a sexually abusive experience in their lifetime. A total of 784 967 South Africans has been abused sexually at least once by the age of 17. This number would fill the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg eight times.

Given the high prevalence and the many negative short and long-term consequences, the economic cost of violence against children is substantial. But when it comes to reporting incidents of sexual abuse to authorities, studies found that young people were unlikely to report these cases. Only 31% of girls and no boys reported sexual abuse to the police.

 
It is more likely for a young South African to experience only one incident of sexual abuse in their lifetime but 40% experience repeated events. 
 
The Children of Our Country Must Be Kept Safe!

TEARS realises the reluctance to report sexual abuse by youths and thus provides 24-hour access to information about where to find medical, legal and psychological support for victims free of charge.
The members of TEARS put together a unique programme to help victims of rape and sexual abuse, providing free national access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling and preventative education services, including the ‘Help at Your Fingertips’ helpline.

 
Help at Your Fingertips – *134*7355#
A mobile phone portal linked to a database of service providers, ‘Help at Your Fingertips’ dispenses information via any mobile device using simple prompt-based technology. It tracks the location of the caller/victim and “instantly” (in approx. 45 seconds), sends back details of the three nearest care facilities, thus providing immediate support to victims of rape and sexual assault. Recently, due to lack of funding, their helpline service was suspended.  It is now up and running again, however, they need funding to keep the line open.

Abuse cases are rampant in South Africa, yet the government only funds the tip of the iceberg, and NGO’s carry the burden of much-needed services with the help of donations.

TEARS urges companies to fund initiatives to change the situation of women and girls in South Africa. The costs are tax deductible. TEARS is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) in terms of the Income Tax Act (Act 58 of 1962). Funding to TEARS is tax deductible in the hands of the donor, individual or company – up to 5% of taxable income (SARS ref: 18/11/13/379). BEE points and tax deductions can be claimed as an incentive.

If you can do anything to assist TEARS in their fight against sexual assault and gender-based violence, please contact charlene@tears.co.za or 010 590 5920.

For more information, please contact: info@redmarketing.co.za.

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