“It’s not just severe abuse and beating that lead to negative consequences. All forms of violence, including smacking or spanking, can make children depressed, angry and anxious,” said Chandré Gould, a senior researcher in the Crime and Justice Programme at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).
This is Child Protection Week and the Children’s Institute under the ISS is focusing on child violence.
“Children who are abused learn to tolerate violence and are at an increased risk of poor mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, risky sexual behaviours and HIV, externalising behaviour problems and poor social functioning,” said an Institute spokesperson.
According to the Birth to Twenty study, one of the largest and longest- running studies of children’s health and development in Africa, violent behaviour was reported by more than 65% of primary school children, rising to 89% of adolescents.