With the recent tragedy involving the brutal slaying of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger in Tokai forest, many families have been left shaken and heartbroken.
As our country’s high crime rate continues unabated, we’re still seeing unacceptable levels of children falling victim to violent acts.
Read more: Protect your family from abduction
Violent crime is rife and although not all of it is published in the media, it’s happening every day, probably not too far from where you live.
Close to home
At first, when the news about Franziska's murder broke, the same thoughts ran through my mind as with all the other child-related cases we've seen making headlines over the past few months: what is happening to our country?
I'm sure many of us ask these questions on a regular basis. What brings a person to take the life of an innocent child? How sick or desperate does a person have to be for this to happen?
When I learnt that the incident happened around the Tokai forest, where I grew up and still regularly visit for runs and walks with the dogs, the tragedy resonated with me.
Thousands of family and community members gathered to support the family of Franziska yesterday in Tokai (see video below).
Have we become desensitised to crime?
It's not yet been disclosed what exactly the motive was for the crime and there's been no evidence to suggest that the aggressors were after her for any other reason than to strangle her.
Franziska's father Florian told EWN, “So the sad thing is that she was strangled. For me it’s particularly understandable that she might be raped, somebody stealing, but I can’t understand that somebody must kill a child like that and I don’t understand the situation in this country that crime is just taking over wherever we look.”
It's easy for us to write our thoughts and condolences on Facebook. It's easy for us to ask the usual questions, discuss our country's dire situation and try to play the role of the detective when discussing it among friends and family. It's easy to go back to work and carry on with our lives, making sure we don't walk back alone to our car at night and to remember to lock the front gate and set the alarm.
Also read: Is crime a parenting issue?
But how sad that for most of us, this is our way of life. We've become accustomed to and accepting of this reality, and only when someone close to us becomes a victim of crime do we really react and make enough noise about it.
In less privileged communities these things are happening all the time without nearly as much regard as in the video below.
When a child is young they're more likely to be influenced by those around them. But they could be just as easily influenced by friends and family who make a stand against the wrong decisions that lead to acts of crime and violence.
If enough of us were more proactive about fighting against crime perhaps it would influence others, in all communities and in all races and eventually to the children of parents involved in crime. Perhaps it could inspire other young adults living in destructive homes and communities to make better decisions and to not resort to violence.
Video via Youtube:
How do you teach your children about crime? Send us your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org