Society today is hurtling along at such a frenzied pace that it can be difficult for a parent to keep up. Just twenty years ago, phones and computers used to be so bulky and their use was generally limited to the office environment. These days, new phone and computer models are released to eager consumers for private use every few months! A simple phone has now become smarter than most people and even the simplest smart phone is rumoured to be more powerful than all the computers put together that took Neil Armstrong to the moon! 

Back when a ‘tablet’ used to mean a pill we take, and when a virus was a type of infection which caused sickness, our parents worried about our lives getting messed up by drugs, sex and rock-n-roll. Today, parents' concerns run much, much deeper - suicides and mental health issues related to cyber-bullies, online addiction to porn, games and inappropriate content, social media where bad-mouthing or fake news can go viral in an instant, and online communication platforms which keep children instantly, and constantly, connected with others.  

So what went wrong?

While technology by itself is neutral, much like money, it can be abused or misused. We are seeing something more fundamental occuring that accounts for the vast gap between children of yesteryears and children of today that goes deeper than the prevalent use of hi-tech gadgets. It’s a matter of attitude really which translates into behavioral patterns common to each generation.  This particular generation of children are lonelier, more prone to violent outbursts, are spiritually detatched, as well as confused about their identity.

Children have not been allowed to simply be innocent children and their relationships with each other suffer as a result. Hiding behind technology means that children today are engaging in online activities that they ordinarily would not do offline, such as sexually promiscuous activities through photos and videos, extreme maliciousness on a scale not seen in previous generations and a general lack of normal relationship behaviour, even between friends, leading to loneliness and a sense of struggling to fit in.


A South African Survey shows that 17% of young women (15-24) have experienced sexual violence
from a partner. According to the same survey, 52.1% of young women (15-24) reported having had sex with someone they do not live with. In contrast, among young men (15-24), the number is 62.4%.

Smartphones have turned the lives of high-school students upside down. Since they became widespread in high schools over the past few years, they have led to increased rates of cyberbullying, facilitated addictions to social media, and helped make teens increasingly depressed. But smartphones have had a particularly devastating effect on girls. Female students regularly face sexual harassment and are under constant pressure to share sexually explicit images of themselves online. It's become normal practice posting promiscuous pictures of themselves and rating themselves based on what others think and like off social media. Nationally, 14% of boys and 10% of girls ages 12 to 17 reported having sent a sexually explicit image in a 2016 survey. At the same time, 20% of boys and 18% of girls reported having received one at some point in their lives.

But it's often girls who face the devastating social consequences, as in cases in which the image leaks online. Younger, more inexperienced students are often the most vulnerable.

THE NARCISSISTIC Tendencies of todays youth pave the way for violence and abuse later on.

According to new research, young people today are significantly more narcissistic than during the 80's or 90's. Are we in the middle of a narcissism epidemic? The term narcissism comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, the handsome young man who falls in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Narcissism is also a concept in psychoanalytic theory introduced by Freud, and it appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry as narcissistic personality disorder.

Professor Jean Twenge from San Diego State University points out that narcissism is distinct from the concept of self-esteem.

Somebody high in self-esteem values individual achievement, but they also value their relationships and caring for others,’ she says.

‘Narcissists are missing that piece about valuing, caring and their relationships, so they tend to lack empathy, they have poor relationship skills. That's one of the biggest differences, those communal and caring traits tend to be high in most people with self-esteem but not among those who are high in narcissism. People who score high in narcissism tend to have trouble in their relationships, basically because they are focused on themselves rather than on anyone else,’ says Professor Twenge. 

Listen to more about this here (Soundcloud):
Prof Jean Twenge Podcast on the Causes of Childhood Narcissism

The RiP Team

Co-Founder & Coo

 I co-founded RiP after chatting to Samantha Le Roux about our life experiences one 
afternoon. I grew up with an absent father, who was also an alcoholic and could not hold down a job. I promised myself that I would never land up in the same situation as my mother. I have an awesome husband, we have been married for 23 years and have 3 beautiful children.


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sally schiffer

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catherine wood

My sexual abuse took me down a path of personal destruction, bad choices and bad habits. Desperate for love and acceptance, I engaged in a downward spiral of toxic relationships which included both physical and emotional abuse. I was a single mother and rediscovered God's eternal love for me which brought about hope. I found my self-worth and had the strength to rise up and rebuild my life. This newfound courage helped to create a vision for the future -  to be a mother to my daughter, one that she loves and respects for that is what all children deserves. My past experiences are the reasons why I am with RiP. I am passionate about helping children, sharing advice and giving them tools to help them on their journey to a healthy adulthood.

lucia martinengo

 I am 23 years old, and I have two degrees with honours in Psychology and Philosophy.
I am a rape survivor. My innocence was taken from me at a young age by someone I knew.

This was the first form of abuse I suffered in my life and because of my warped view on sex I was often in relationships that entailed sexual pressure.

I joined RiP to spread awareness about abuse and how easy it is to abuse and to fall into abusive relationships.

sithuthukile zama

I am currently pursuing a BA in Psychology and Sociology. When I turned 18, my mother was murdered by her former lover. My life completely changed. Having witnessed abusive behaviour first hand, I feel compelled to stop the cycle of abuse, which typically starts in childhood.

I never imagined losing my mother so tragically. And I certainly did not imagine myself being a victim of physical abuse a few years later myself. As a society, we need to teach and encourage people to fight for their own personal freedom from abuse, because abuse can never be normal.

ashly parsons

I have been working with children as a nursery school teacher for the past 10
years, after studying a general BA Majoring in English Literacy, Drama and Film. I also have a diploma in Early Childhood Development.

I myself have been in my fair share of abusive relationships. I joined RiP because I have lived most of my life not dealing with relationships properly. Because of these failed relationships, I once reached the point of suicide, feeling like I had lost all control over my life.

With Rip, I am part of something good, something helps children cope and not end up hopeless as I did. My story is for sharing -  I want others to understand that light is always there no matter how bad things get. 

lee-roy mankayi

I grew up in the Cape being raised by my mother who was a single parent and always very stressed about me.

I am a kickboxer and martial arts instructor, which requires a lot of self-dicipline - something I lacked as a child. I still train from time to time.

I now divide my time between my passion which is RiP and the job that pays the bills at a large banking institution.  

I am the most adventurous person I know and I love working with others and being around happy people! 

miguel da silva ferreira

At 24, I was involved in a horrific superbike accident. I died 5 times on the side of the road and 5 times in hospital. In total, I broke 33 bones and needed 20 units of blood. I also suffered serious brain damage and was in a coma for 6 and half weeks. Two years later, I still asked myself “Why? What was it that I was to learn from this? I should have been dead.”  Clearly, my time is not up and I have a purpose. I am not the man I was before - a young man making large amounts of money, living a life with no limits, no rules, and no
consequences - the high life. And it almost killed me.  Today, I share my story as part of RiP and I endevour to educate your child as to why one shouldn’t wait for ‘their' superbike accident to learn to change bad behaviour.  
I have a Bachelor of Business Science Degree, majoring in Marketing and Management.

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