First Lady Getrude Mutharika has called on all Malawians, government, and non-governmental to fight any form of violence against children.
Mutharika made the call, Monday in Lilongwe during the celebrations of Day of the African Child (DAC) and launch of the book titled Betrayal of Trust written by Eye of the Child’s Executive Director Maxwell Matewere.
Speaking during the celebrations Mutharika said violence against children is deplorable because of the devastating physical hardships, destructive psychological behavioral and health outcomes associated with it.
She said “the negative outcomes which includes high level of mental distress, greater prevalence of smoking and alcohol abuse and sexually transmitted infections and high rates of self-harming behaviors.
Mutharika further said that most men and women who experience violence in their childhood abuse their intimate partners in their lives hence a great need to break the cycle of violence in order to reduce or eliminate the long term costs of violence.
In her words “the launch of the book strikes a chord to address issues of violence against children which will go a long way in helping parents and guardians to understand sexual violence.
“This book spells out what constitutes sexual violence, how it can be prevented and how to effectively respond when it comes”.
In her remarks Board Chair for Eye of the Child Esmie Tembenu the celebration of DAC to show action and call for zero tolerance against child sexual abuse, exploitation in Malawi and draw public attention to the effects and experiences of children who are subjected to sexual violence which negatively impact upon their lives.
She said the commemoration of the DAC is mainly to profile and share best practices in child protection, motivate stakeholders, and raise public awareness on negative effects of child sexual abuse and creation of new relationships and partnerships required for the protection of children from sexual abuse.
The celebrations saw to the awards of individuals who have done great work in the protection of rights of children. The individuals include Senior Chief kwataine, Dr. Mary Shaba, Esmie Tembenu, Telecom Networks Malawi.