Chalamila calls for concerts efforts to end violence against children

WITH cases of violence against children escalating in the country, Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Albert Chalamila has called for concerted efforts to end the scourge.

He explained that, some of the children were employed in hazardous works including mining activities; some were   raped or murdered with reports indicating that some of the killings are related to witchcraft.

A few weeks ago, five people   appeared before the Kagera Resident Magistrate’s Court to answer two charges including conspiracy to commit an offense and child kidnapping.

Mr Chalamila explained that a child who is exposed to violence at home also risks being abused and will, quite reasonably, fear for  their own  safety.

“The impact of experiencing or witnessing violence as a child has wide-ranging and long lasting effects…when a child experiences  violence at home, they learn to tolerate violence,” he said.

They are also at an increased risk of suffering from poor mental health, engaging in drug and alcohol abuse and risky sexual behavior, and contracting HIV. They are also more at risk of behavior problems such as aggression, delinquency and poor social functioning, “he said.

Elaborating, he said it is important to understand that children who have experienced violence are more likely to lack empathy towards others. That means they’re more likely to perpetrate violence.

It is this aspect of exposure to violence that drives its inter-generational transmission. This has a direct impact on their relationships with intimate partners, as well as their ability to be emotionally responsive parents.

Growing up in violent households affects a child’s sense of security, self worth and how they relate to other children.

Kagera Region is one of the regions where school dropout rates for girls due to pregnancy are high. Child marriage practices and high school dropout rates are cross-cutting issues.

Early marriage deprives girls right  to  education and opportunities  and increases the risk of  death or  serious childbirth injuries.

Child brides are also at great risk of domestic and sexual violence. Despite this worrying trend, the situation shows  no signs of  improvement.

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