What would you give to end a child’s suffering?

What would you give to end a child’s suffering?

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign runs from 25 November to 10 December every year all over the world. It aims to bring awareness to a problem that affects countless people every single day.

This isn’t a fun blog post, you are going to read stories that will make you sad. They will make you angry. They might even make you cry. Read them anyway.

If you would like to do more you could make some child protection packs (check out what goes into them at the bottom of this post) or maybe even volunteer, click here to learn more.

red cross, children's trust, 16 days of activism, violence, child abuse, women, abuse, activism, help

Akhona* was admitted to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital after she was raped by her uncle.

Akhona’s mother had left her in the care of her uncle, trusting that as a family member, he would have her best interests at heart. Sadly, this was not the case. After the child protection office at the Hospital got involved, an investigation started and a police case was opened.

The uncle was arrested and confessed to the crime. He has since been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Akhona was discharged back into her mother’s care and continues to experience severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder including inappropriate sexual behaviour. Akhona’s mother has slipped into a manic-depressive state. After Akhona’s rape she attempted to commit suicide. Through hours of therapy it was revealed that she too is a rape survivor, having lived through chronic sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather 25 years ago.

Akhona’s story is an example of how pervasive sexual violence in our society can be.

* You do not need to know her name to know that she deserved a childhood

red cross, children's trust, 16 days of activism, violence, child abuse, women, abuse, activism, help

Caitlyn* is a 4-month-old baby girl. While most children her age are cuddled close to their mother’s chests in a solid bubble of love, Caitlyn’s reality is violently different.

Caitlyn was admitted to the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital after she was raped by an adult male who was known to her family. Caitlyn’s case was sent to the child protection office and an investigation began.

Caitlyn’s parents revealed that they were sleeping in their home – a wendy house – when a man known to the family, climbed through the window and abducted Caitlyn and another 6-year-old boy that was also asleep in the room at the time. The adult male raped both Caitlyn and the 6-year-old boy.

A police case was opened and the perpetrator was arrested. After criminal court proceedings, he was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Caitlyn was removed from her parents care and put in a place of safety. Caitlyn’s parents were under the influence of alcohol at the time of her abduction. After just 4 short months in this world, she has had to face more violence than most of us face in a lifetime.

* You do not need to know her name to know that she deserved a childhood

red cross, children's trust, 16 days of activism, violence, child abuse, women, abuse, activism, help

One year old Sadie* was rushed to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital with a fractured femur. Doctors were told that she fell off the bed, but the fall was not witnessed by either parent.

Sadie’s father explained that he left her alone in the family home while he used the bathroom, which was 100 meters from the house. Upon his return, he found Sadie on the floor and crying. When he picked her up, her cries intensified. He explains that this is when he noticed that there was something wrong with her little leg.

Doctors in the trauma centre at Red Cross Children’s Hospital examined Sadie and determined that the type of fracture she had was not consistent with her father’s version of the events surrounding her injury. A child protection investigation began. After numerous social work assessments and hours of investigation, the findings of the child protection office were heart-breaking:

Sadie’s parents had lied about her fall being an unwitnessed event…

Sadie’s parents had lied about her fall being from a bed…

Sadie’s parents had lied about Sadie’s fall being a fall at all…

Sadie’s parents got into a physical fight and one year old little Sadie was picked up and used as human shield. In the midst of this violence, her tiny little body was pulled at and hit and in the end, the sheer force of this violence was the reason her little leg broke. Once the fight was over, Sadie’s parents continued drinking alcohol and little Sadie waited – in excruciating pain – for 2 days before her parents brought her to the hospital.

Sadie has been removed from her parent’s home and now lives in a place of safety.

* You do not need to know her name to know that she deserved a childhood

red cross, children's trust, 16 days of activism, violence, child abuse, women, abuse, activism, help

What goes into the child protection packs?red cross, children's trust, 16 days of activism, violence, child abuse, women, abuse, activism, help

Often when children are taken out of these abusive situations they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. These packs are all they have. The Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust does amazing work to help these children but they need our help!

Let’s do what we can to make their fight a little bit easier… Donations, monetary or in the form of goods for the packs, or even if you are only able to provide one complete pack, every bit helps!

YOU CAN DONATE HERE…

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.

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