PICTURE: THULANI MBELE The recent crime statistics make for grim reading with regards to public safety in South Africa. The increase in murder over the past four years is clear evidence of this.The solution to our high, and increasing, levels of violence does not lie in the hands of the police alone. While the police play an important role in tackling certain types of crime, and in responding when crime has already happened, they cannot address social and individual factors that lay the basis for violence and criminality.Substantial and sustainable reductions in violence require a long-term strategy involving agencies outside of the criminal justice system to take the lead.Research has long revealed that there is a clear link between childhood abuse and neglect and exposure to violence, and later violent and aggressive behaviour. The trauma experienced by abused and neglected children, is likely to have a negative impact on their well-being and can be linked to behavioural challenge...

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