Just weeks after Baby Daniel’s mother and her boyfriend were convicted for their in the roles in the death of the 3 year old toddler, a Mpumalanga mother hands herself in to police after her 4 children were found dead. Although we welcome the recent harsh sentences being meted out, we can’t help but wonder what we could have done differently to stop these heinous acts.

Filicide, which is the deliberate act of a parent killing their child, seems to be increasing in South Africa. Research has indicated that these crimes are committed in the context of increased levels of violence, intimate partner violence and violence against children. Family breakdown is the centre of this phenomenon.

As a Child Protection Agency Childline KZN continues to be deeply saddened by these incidents and urge families and individuals in crisis to seek professional help. We urge stakeholders and service providers to promote an ‘open door” policy encouraging individuals to seek the help that they need. So often red tape and protocol discourages an individual from seeking help. The fear of rebuttal or retribution forces one to keep silent. Let’s all stand together and ensure that we as service providers and concerned community members help these families and in turn save our innocent children.