Violence against children remains hidden - survey

Violence against children remains hidden
Violence against children remains hidden

The Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) compiled by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development indicates there is no comprehensive study enough to bring out detailed information regarding the emotional, physical and sexual violence issues experienced by children in Botswana.

“It has generally been agreed that most incidents of violence against children are rarely disclosed and remain hidden, partly due to a culture of silence and shame. Furthermore, social norms generally purport the belief that violence against children in the home is a private affair, that physical violence is an acceptable means to discipline and educate children, and that children are expected to submit to the will of their parents, teachers, religious leaders, and other elders and authority figures. Thus, law enforcement officials and others mandated to protect children rarely intervene or enforce those laws that do exist,” it states.

Furthermore, it noted that this attributes to children being reluctant to report the incidents of violence that are committed against them, sometimes in fear of retribution against themselves or other family members, out of shame or guilt, or due to the belief that they merited such treatment or were, in some way, responsible. It also states that the Government of Botswana acknowledges that a lack of comprehensive data on violence against children has been one of the challenges to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate appropriate policies and programming on child protection.

Editor's Comment
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