Following the launch of the East Rand Child Protection Hotline last year, more people have reported cases of abuse, violence or related issues using the 24-hour hotline. The hotline, which seeks to promote child safety and bring hope to victims, was launched in October to help children, parents and teachers report abuse cases.
The child-friendly number, which is accessible via SMS, WhatsApp or call, has enabled any child, teacher, parent or neighbour who knows of a child in need of care and protection to find help. According to Danie van Loggerenberg, the founder of the Child Protection Hotline, they have since launched four more hotlines, totalling 17 hotlines that have been established in South Africa.
“After the launch, we received calls from many people in Boksburg who just wanted to say we should have started this a long time ago. We also received several calls from people who wanted assistance with old cases of child abuse, child neglect and bullying that have been neglected.”
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Van Loggerenberg said they’ve had tons of calls, SMSes and Whatsapps about cases of child abuse and child neglect, with fewer cases of bullying. “We also received calls about parents going through a divorce where they shared they felt they are being alienated from their children by the other parent.”
Acting in the best interest of the children, van Loggerenberg said they were still working hand-in-hand with local organisations. “We still make contact with Adv Lindi Kinghorn, who is now an acting magistrate at Palm Ridge Court, for advice and to be put in contact with relevant people.
Elmarie Pretorius and her team at Touch of Hope are amazing in their assistance for the children in the area. Charl Botha from the Benoni Family Focus Law and Mediation and I have weekly contact about various reported cases in the area,” said van Loggerenberg.
Meanwhile, during the launch last year, van Loggerenberg shared that calls are free and there is no cost (excluding airtime and data) to contact the number via any of these platforms.
He explained that once a call or message is received, they first assess the situation before contacting the relevant authorities. Parents, teachers and children are still urged to save the hotline number (071 523 9215) on their phones or send an email to [email protected] for information or to report cases of child abuse.
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