Corporal punishment was banned in schools in South Africa in 1997. Despite this, corporal (or physical) punishment of children continues to be widespread.
Surveys allow us to capture experiences of physical violence at any point during a child's life, including those incidents that have not been reported to authorities.
Assault refers to a physical attack, beating or the threat of an attack. Many of these incidents are not reported to the police.
This form of assault involves the intention to cause serious physical harm to a child. The high number of reported cases is indicative of the extreme nature of violence faced by many children in South Africa.
Murder statistics are seen as reliable because the presence of a body makes them difficult to dispute or manipulate. But some child murders remain hidden and undetected, such as when deaths due to deliberate poisoning or abuse are attributed to natural or accidental causes; or when infants are secretly 'dumped' or abandoned after birth.
This indicator is less reliable than the murder indicator, as it is more difficult to verify independently.