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By definition, the connection between a mother and her child personifies the term gargantuan love. Yet, for one Vryheid teen, the thought of a compassionate mother is nothing but a fantasy.
On 5 March 2021, the 17-year-old girl in question was allegedly assaulted with a sjambok by her mother for disobeying her. This, despite the child’s defiance, not involving any apparent wrongdoing.
According to the KZN Department of Social Development, the beating took place after the teenager went to school instead of staying at home as her mother had instructed.
Looking at the event, Captain Nqobile Gwala states, on Friday morning, after being awoken by her mother, the girl’s mom proceeded to attack her with a sjambok—resulting in the youngster sustaining injuries all over her body. Thankfully, the assault was stopped by a neighbour who intervened and called the police.
While a case of grievous bodily harm is now being investigated, is this an isolated incident? Or are other children in our community enduring a similar fate?
Jo-Ann Pienaar of Hope in Christ Children’s Home explains child abuse is not as rare in our community as we would like to believe. “From our perspective, we see it often. However, we see a lot of abuse cases coming more from children in foster care.” Forming a relationship of trust with the children in their care, Pienaar states they often talk about what they have endured. Through this, the children’s home has seen and heard horrendous stories.
Stressing the severity of the situation, Pienaar says, “From 2015, 5% of children have been removed from their parents due to neglect, while 80% have faced abuse while in foster care.”
These abusive foster homes generally comprise of family members, where uncles or other relatives either physically assault or sexually abuse the children. Due to their expertise and experience on the matter, the Hope in Christ Children’s Home is an institute dealing with the backlash of this disturbing social ill—assisting those wanting to escape a life of turmoil.
Considering the above, what are your thoughts on the subject? Share your views with us in the comment section below.