Gender-based violence against disabled children
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) represents a social and economic crisis in our country. One local organisation that is working at the interface of and SGBV, is Afrika Tikkun.
This February, Afrika Tikkun trained seventeen youth with disabilities to facilitate sexuality education for children with disabilities at the Duzenendlela School for Children with special education needs. Paul Chappell, a recognised expert in the field of sexuality education of people with disabilities, based at the University of Johannesburg, trained the young people who will proceed grade by grade to educate and empower every child.
In 2015, the Afrika Tikkun Empowerment Programme, which works with just under 500 families of children with disabilities in Gauteng, undertook an audit of all clients registered on the Programme. “We were trying to understand how many of our clients disclosed violence or abuse, and track their journey through child protection and criminal justice systems,” said Chelesile Siziba, the Programme Coordinator. She herself has a daughter with Cerebral Palsy. “The most shocking thing we found from our audit, was that most of our clients were girls with intellectual impairments, just like my own beautiful little girl,” she lamented.
Photo by U.S. Embassy Pakistan