With the recent increase of gender-based violence against women and children. The South African Police Service launched a Child Protection Awareness Week against child abuse and human trafficking.

The awareness week against child abuse began from 28 May and will conclude on Sunday 4 June. Child protection week commenced a march on Monday, which consisted of numerous schools around Port Elizabeth to raise awareness to stop abuse against women and children.

Today saw the Police Service embark on an awareness programme for the pre-schoolers of Children of Mary’s Edu-care centre in Sydenham. The awareness programme aimed to educating the toddlers, aged around 3 to 5 years old, on safety rules and procedures to follow in order to stay safe and report any criminal activity they might come across.

The key essential points of safety, were to inform the kids not to play with things that can hurt them such as fireworks, candles, guns and knives. Furthermore, to not take any money, gifts or sweets from strangers and lastly to always tell and inform your parent or guardian of your whereabouts.

Mount road Police station, Captain Sandra van Rensburg said, “Children protection week goes beyond a week of awareness and should be the main concern to focus on the safety of children against child abuse.” Captain Van Rensburg further stated that the children should not be afraid to report any criminality against them and to trust the police service.

A volunteer of the victim support centre, Michelle Liston stated that, “Raising awareness of safety among the children is vital in these trying times around the country and they should trust in the police in whatever they need assistance with.”

The young vibrant and enthusiastic pre-schoolers were filled with much joy as the police force together with the community donated toys and colouring books to the Edu-care centre, along with a sweet filled box of Easter eggs. Showing great appreciation as they received these gifts, the little ones sang the National anthem and thanked the community and police force for the wonderful and aspiring awareness program.

The Police service continues with the child protection week against women and children abuse until Sunday the 4 June. Tomorrow will see the police service host another awareness programme at The door of good hope, a children’s home in Sydenham to donate toys and continue to raise awareness within the community.

By: Lwando Nomoyi

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