Children targets of sexual violence

2016-01-28 06:00

THE Verulam SAPS Child Protection Unit is investigating sexual assaults on two nine-year-old girls recently. One incident allegedly occurred at a school toilet and the other child was alleged assaulted by her father at her Verulam home.

Verulam SAPS communications officer Lieutenant Mark Prakasim said according to reports made to the SAPS, one victim was repeatedly raped by her father during the December holidays.

“While her mother was gone to work the child alleged that her father raped her several times during December,” said Prakasim.

In the other incident at a Verulam school the girl who had been using the toilet during the lunch break was approached by a 13-year-old male pupil who asked her for R1.

According to Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) head Prem Balram, when she told him she did not have R1 he put his hand into her underwear and sexually assaulted her before returning to his class.

Balram said the girl’s mother found out about the assault the next day when her child refused to go to school.

“The concerned parent rushed the child to a private doctor who confirmed that she was sexually assaulted. The mother then proceeded to the school in an attempt to locate the pupil who was responsible for the assault,” said Balram.

Balram said the 13-year-old was identified and admitted to the assault.

Prakasim confirmed the incident stating that both cases are under investigation by the Child Protection Unit.

No arrests have been made as yet.

Prakasim said efforts are being made to prevent these incidents at school and to help children being abused to speak out so they can get help.

“We are on a drive especially with the primary schools together with councillors from Operation Bobby Bear and Child Welfare to educate children about sexual awareness and speaking about any violation to themselves or someone they may know,” said Prakasim.

Prakasim said their priority will be schools where incidents have occurred and they are also educating teachers to identify unusual behavior.

The policeman urged parents to make use of the professional counselling and psychologist which the police have made available to the public through their trauma unit.

Verulam Child and Family Welfare Society social work supervisor Mala Pather said they are also working on and encouraging parents to create a relationship with their children where communication is easy.

“Creating this relationship is important so children feel they can come forward. Once the abuse or incident is known we can stop the abuse and equip them with the skills to cope and deal with the abuse,” said Pather.

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