Violence against children in South Africa: the cost of inaction to society and the economy

Despite the extent and magnitude of violence against children in South Africa, political and financial investments to prevent violence against children remain low. A recent costing study investigating the social burden and economic impact of violence against children in South Africa found notable reductions to mental and physical health outcomes in the population if children were prevented from experiencing violence, neglect and witnessing family violence. The study further estimated that the cost of inaction in 2015 amounted to nearly 5% of the country’s gross domestic product.

The findings of the study show that preventing children from experiencing and witnessing violence can help to strengthen the health of a nation by ensuring children reach their full potential and drive the country’s economy and growth. The paper further discusses ways in which preventing and ending violence against children may be prioritised in South Africa through, for instance, intersectoral collaboration and improving routine monitoring data, such as through the sustainable development goals.

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Read article on the BMJ Global Health journal website

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