The Foundation for Child Safety (often referred to as the Child Witness Foundation) was established in 2015 to support the work of The Child Witness Institute. We raise awareness of the injustices faced by children in the legal system, and of the work done by the institute to correct this. We raise funds to enable the institute to scale their efforts.
1 billion children experience some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence every year, and one child dies from violence every five minutes.
90% of children are abused by someone they know, love or trust. Over 60% of children are abused within their own families by mothers, fathers, uncles, siblings, grandfathers, etc.
COVID-19 has changed the world overnight and has some very serious implications for children everywhere. A third of the global population is on COVID-19 lockdown, and school closures have impacted more than 1.5 billion children.
Restrictions on movement, isolation, overcrowding, loss of income and high levels of stress and anxiety are dramatically increasing the likelihood that children will become victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse at home, especially those children who are already living in violent and dysfunctional families.
Children are making greater use of online facilities to access families and schooling, exposing them to cyberbullying, risky online behaviour and sexual exploitation.
This situation is further aggravated by the fact that children are unable to access their friends, teachers, safe spaces and services that schools provide.
Research has highlighted the serious impact that violence has on child victims and the need to ensure adequate psychosocial support interventions to reduce this impact as well as prevent future offending by the victim. Since the impact of trauma in cases of sexual violence is complex and pervasive, victims are in need of support services that include:
- crisis intervention and trauma debriefing;
- legal advice, court support and advocacy;
- court preparation;
- counselling; and
These support services need to be holistic and must be able to be adapted to suit the needs of individual victims at different stages of their journeys of recovery.
Despite being the key factor in a victim’s recovery, holistic psychosocial support programmes are unavailable for the vast majority of victims globally.
Only a few services are provided on an ad hoc basis by non-governmental organisations, and mostly in larger urban areas. Where psychosocial support services are available, they tend to target only certain aspects of support and do not deliver a holistic package of services. The sad truth is that a very small percentage of abused children ever receive any counselling.
It is, therefore, necessary that programmes be developed that address all these factors and which are aimed at capacitating statutory service providers, grassroots organisations and schools for delivery so that their access is amplified.
Our response is to develop a psychosocial support programme for victims of sexual violence that will respond to the identified needs of victims and includes the following services:
- crisis intervention and trauma debriefing
- legal advice
- court support, and advocacy
- court preparation
Training on the programme will be provided to organisations(governmental and non-governmental), educators and school counsellors in order to roll out the programme as widely as possible and ensure as many children as possible have access to psychosocial support post COVID-19.
We need your help. In order to succeed, we need R2.9 million.
This project will provide psychosocial support to millions of children post-COVID-19 who would otherwise not be able to access these services, contributing positively to their mental health.
Our banking details:
Account name: Foundation on Justice for Child Witnesses
Bank: First National Bank of South Africa
Account number: 62570288318
For international payments, please use the SWIFT code: FIRNZAJJ950