The law requires responsible adults to report suspected child abuse. It may be easier to turn your back and not interfere in something you regard as not your business. Child abuse is your business. It is the business of society as a whole and every individual in it. Still, one does not want to interfere in a situation where one can do more damage than good, so making wild accusations when uncertain of the truth may be ill-advised.
This is what you should do:-
- Collect all relevant information. Identify information of the suspected victim and, where possible, the suspected perpetrator.
- Record the home or school address.
- Record all physical and behavioural signs that cause you to suspect abuse, where possible with dates. Here is some vital information to help you recognise the signs when a child is being abused: Recognising the signs of child abuse
- Report your findings to the SA Police Service at 10111 or your local police station.
- Alternatively, you can call the well-known Childline number at 08 000 55 555 (www.childlinesa.org.za) or Child Welfare SA at 0861 4 CHILD (24453) / 011 452 4110 (www.childwelfaresa.org.za) to report the abuse.
We call on all reasonable and responsible adults to make a pledge to care and to act. Only by acting with common purpose will we make a difference in the lives of such children and start winning the battle against the plague of child abuse.