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Teddy Bear Clinic records 25 cases of child abuse during lockdown

The clinic on Monday said some of these children had witnessed their mothers being assaulted, while others had been raped and sexually assaulted.

Picture: iStock

JOHANNESBURG - The Teddy Bear Clinic has seen more than 25 children who've been abused during the coronavirus lockdown period.

The clinic on Monday said some of these children had witnessed their mothers being assaulted, while others had been raped and sexually assaulted.

The clinic's Shaheda Omar said this needed to be addressed urgently.

“Some of the cases were actually not even reported to the police but we provided support and assistance in ensuring that the matters have been referred to the police, where cases have been opened and the mothers and children are receiving relevant support and intervention.”

If you or someone you know needs help during this time, these are the emergency numbers you can use:

• Official Toll-Free Call Center: 0800 029 999

• Clinicians Hotline: 082 883 9920

• Official WhatsApp Help Service: Send "Hi" to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.

• Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme call centre: 012 337 1997 or email Corona19ters@labour.gov.za

• SASSA call centre: 0800 60 10 11

• Solidarity Fund call centre: 0860 001 001 or email info@solidarityfund.co.za

• For medical enquiries: National Institute for Communicable Diseases 0800 029 999

• Gender-based violence command centre: 0800 428 428, 0800 120 7867

• Mental health information line: 0800 567 567

• Military police crime line: 0800 222 091

• National Health System ethics line: 0800 20 14 144 14

• For information on support to SMMEs in distress: 086 066 37867

• For information on reporting undue price increases: 0800 141 880.

• For information on tourism, hospitality services and travel restrictions: 0860 868 747 or email callcentre@tourism.gov.za

• SA Depression Anxiety Group (SADAG): 0800 21 22 23 / 0800 70 80 90

• SADAG WhatsApp support (9am-4pm): 076 882 2775 / or SMS 31393 or 32312 and a counsellor will call you back

• Lifeline South Africa: 0861 322 322

Family members who require more information about their loved ones who will be repatriated can contact the Department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO) on the following contact details:

• Email address: cicc1@dirco.gov.za or cicc2@dirco.gov.za

• Telephone number: 012 351 1754

• Presidential Hotline: 17737 (should be used when all your attempts to get assistance from a government department, province, municipality or state agency have failed.)

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.