Welcome!

What Is Sexual Abuse ?

Child sexual abuse. Often said behind closed doors in a whisper and remains a secret, it is a global phenomenon that demands our full attention. “Child sexual abuse transcends all boundaries - it permeates every race, religion and socio-economic group.”

While it is a complex and world-wide issue, South Africa is known to have one of the highest sexual assault rates in the world; with young girls (12-17) being at high risk for victimisation. The incidences of child rape are becoming a common occurrence in South Africa.

As it stands, sexual violence crimes are believed to be under-reported.

In 2013/2014, 50% of the 45 230 contact crimes against children were sexual offences, making an average of 62 cases per day. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), children make up 41% of the rapes that are reported. They further estimate that a woman is raped every 36 seconds and that a child is raped every three minutes in South Africa. Children who live in abuse homes or have abusive relationships may be molested and/or raped over a long period of time.

What many do not realise is that there are two different types of abuse- contact abuse (the abuser makes physical contact with a child, including penetration) and non-contact abuse (other acts where the abuser does not touch the child, including flashing, performing sexual acts online, exploitation and grooming). The statistics give only the reported cases of contact abuse. As it is, talking or disclosing sexual abuse is not easy to do. From the statistics we can safely assume that there are many more of these contact crimes that do not get reported. Non-contact crimes, because if their nature are also severely under-reported. This suggests that the actual sexual abuse numbers are a lot more than we are aware.

This is child sexual abuse: it involves forcing or enticing a child to take part of sexual activities whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. It is for the sexual gratification of another person, usually older, and may include the following acts:

  • Sexual touching of any body part, be it clothed or unclothed

  • Assault by penetration or an object, including rape

  • Encouraging a child to participate in sexual acts (stripping, masturbation or other sexual acts)

  • Intentionally engaging in sexual activity in front of a child

  • Taking improper measures to prevent and protect a child from being exposed to sexual activities performed by others

  • Exposing a child to images of sexual activity including photographs, videos and pornography (of themselves or of others for distribution or personal use)

Much of this is hidden from society, adults, professionals and the legal system. The numbers are often overwhelming. The level of depravity by the perpetrators on children seems to also grow deeper and the shame associated leads to silence. It is because of this that we need to arm ourselves with the correct information of child sexual abuse so that children remain children and do not have their childhood, human rights and dignity stripped away.

Child sexual abuse. Often said behind closed doors in a whisper and remains a secret, it is a global phenomenon that demands our full attention. “Child sexual abuse transcends all boundaries - it permeates every race, religion and socio-economic group.”

While it is a complex and world-wide issue, South Africa is known to have one of the highest sexual assault rates in the world; with young girls (12-17) being at high risk for victimisation. The incidences of child rape are becoming a common occurrence in South Africa.

As it stands, sexual violence crimes are believed to be under-reported.

In 2013/2014, 50% of the 45 230 contact crimes against children were sexual offences, making an average of 62 cases per day. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), children make up 41% of the rapes that are reported. They further estimate that a woman is raped every 36 seconds and that a child is raped every three minutes in South Africa. Children who live in abuse homes or have abusive relationships may be molested and/or raped over a long period of time.

What many do not realise is that there are two different types of abuse- contact abuse (the abuser makes physical contact with a child, including penetration) and non-contact abuse (other acts where the abuser does not touch the child, including flashing, performing sexual acts online, exploitation and grooming). The statistics give only the reported cases of contact abuse. As it is, talking or disclosing sexual abuse is not easy to do. From the statistics we can safely assume that there are many more of these contact crimes that do not get reported. Non-contact crimes, because if their nature are also severely under-reported. This suggests that the actual sexual abuse numbers are a lot more than we are aware.

This is child sexual abuse: it involves forcing or enticing a child to take part of sexual activities whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. It is for the sexual gratification of another person, usually older, and may include the following acts:

  • Sexual touching of any body part, be it clothed or unclothed

  • Assault by penetration or an object, including rape

  • Encouraging a child to participate in sexual acts (stripping, masturbation or other sexual acts)

  • Intentionally engaging in sexual activity in front of a child

  • Taking improper measures to prevent and protect a child from being exposed to sexual activities performed by others

  • Exposing a child to images of sexual activity including photographs, videos and pornography (of themselves or of others for distribution or personal use)

Much of this is hidden from society, adults, professionals and the legal system. The numbers are often overwhelming. The level of depravity by the perpetrators on children seems to also grow deeper and the shame associated leads to silence. It is because of this that we need to arm ourselves with the correct information of child sexual abuse so that children remain children and do not have their childhood, human rights and dignity stripped away.

images 4 1

Author Nelly Kgoadi

Add comment

No swearing. Please be respectful at all times.


Security code
Refresh

Join us on Face BookFind us on TwitterFind us on Pinterest

Cambia lingua in Italiano

Blog Posts

Powered by mod LCA
News