Sex abuse victims 'turned away'

2009-08-26 14:23
Cape Town - The police are turning away "numerous" sexual abuse victims as reports of physical abuse soar, parliamentarians heard on Wednesday.

Joan van Niekerk, the manager of advocacy and training at Childline, told Parliament's portfolio committee on women and children that the organisation had received numerous reports of children and adults being turned away by the police.

"For the past three years Childline has had numerous reports of children and adults with children attempting to report sexual abuse to police stations turned away," she said.

Van Niekerk, who made her remarks in the presence of a contingent of senior police officers, said she was once astounded to be told by a provincial police commissioner that the only way to reduce rape statistics was to turn away victims.

Target

"As one provincial police commissioner noted to me in a meeting - the target of seven to 10% reduction in rapes is impossible to achieve - the only way we can do it is to turn victims away.

"This is what some police stations have been doing - telling parents that their children will be traumatised by the criminal justice system process, that they can do nothing if the child is too young to testify."

A report released to the committee said Childline had received 3 428 calls related to physical abuse in 2008, up from 1 775 in 2006 and 2 538 in 2007.

Van Niekerk said legislation for children was "simply not being implemented".

Legislation

"South Africa has some of the best legislation in the world, but it is simply not being implemented.

"The Children's Act number 38 was passed four years ago but only 30 sections of 300 have been implemented, leaving children very unprotected and without preventive and remedial services," she said.

Committee chairperson Barbara Thomson said she was shocked at the report.

"It is supposed to be us who question you to get clarity on issues, but in some instances you who should be questioning us," Thomson said.

"Everything you said hits right into our faces."

- SAPA
Read more on:    childline
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.