Sexual violence against children on the rise, warns Muizenberg SAPS

CAPE TOWN. – One in five children are victims of sexual abuse in South Africa, representing 19.8 % compared to a global average of 18 % for girls and 8 % for boys.

In the 2019/2020 Annual Crime statistics report, more than 24 000 children were sexually assaulted in South Africa. According to www.converation.com, it is estimated that 22.8 % of school children have been victims of violence.  

According to the Gauteng Health Department, 23000 teenage pregnancies were recorded between April 2020and March 2021. In all, 934 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 10 and 14 while over 19000 were delivered by those between the ages of 15 and 19.

According to the Western Cape Health Department, there were 11342 pregnancies of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in the past 12 months, while there were 325 pregnancies of girls between the ages of 10 and 14 the past year.

Sexual violence against children is at the centre of a media statement that has just been issued by the office of the station commander of Muizenberg SAPS.

The statement states that in recent months, the increase of sexual offenses in Muizenberg is of great concern as many of these victims are children at the age of 16 years old or younger.

Other factors to these sexual offenses are adults that consume liquor or drugs and become vulnerable. The perpetrators are mostly known to the victims. Even though the sexual offenses showed an increase most of the perpetrators have been arrested and sent to court.

Rape or sexual assault can happen to anyone, woman, man, boy, or girl, and it’s never the victim’s fault. These safety tips, states the media release by the station commander of Muizenberg SAPS, may help a woman, man, girl, or boy to avoid rape or sexual assault.

Try not to walk alone, especially at night. Travel in well-lit, well-traveled areas. If possible, walk-in groups. Walk facing the traffic. Know your neighborhood. Be aware of the businesses and the trading hours.

Teach your children that it is not right if any person, even a family member, touches them inappropriately. They should inform someone they trust. 

They should also talk to their boys about consent and that if someone says no, that no means no and requires of them to respect that person’s choice.

They should not be afraid to report incidents of violence.

Stick with your friends at a party. Hold on to your drink, even when you go to the bathroom. Stay in control and know your limits when drinking alcohol.

When you want to leave inform a friend and don’t let them pressurize you to stay longer. t let them pressurize you to stay longer. You have the right to say no. Don’t leave with a stranger.

When a friend offers you to stay over and you feel uncomfortable, decline the offer and go home.

If such an incident happens to you, try to remember as much as possible about the perpetrator and the environment. Report these incidents as soon as possible to your nearest police station, the media statement adds.

Tina Thiart, the founder member of 1000 Women Trust, says the Trust supports the Muizenberg Police Station and calls on all Police Stations to speak out and to call on the community to report incidences of abuse, gender-based violence, and rape.

The 1000 Women Trust offers valuable training to community-based organizations and to the Police on gender-based violence and on how to deal with trauma. “We invited the SAPS to join hands with the many community-based organizations who provide support to survivors of gender-based violence,” said Thiart.  

The Trauma volunteer training course of 1000 Women Trust is valuable and the Trust invites communities and police stations to join the project. Send Whatsupp to 0732079079 or visit www.1000women.co.za.