Children abusing children

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Two hundred sexual attacks among children have been reported this year since January.

Children's rights groups have reported that this is happening among children in pre-primary and primary school.

"It's war out there," Jackie Branfield of KwaZulu-Natal National Rights Organisation told The Times.

Over the past three months in Gauteng, 45 sexually oriented assaults have been recorded. In KwaZulu-Natal, 23 cases of children being sexually attacked by other children, some younger than 10.

The attackers are said to generally have been victims themselves.

"The behaviour is driven, not by the sexual act itself , but by the power the act gives one child over another," children rights expert Stephanie Dawson-Cosser says.

The Child Justice Act says children under 10 have no criminal capacity.

This bars them from being prosecuted and cannot be prosecuted unless the state can prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.

Dawson-Cosser says such abuses are nothing new: "We are hearing about it now because our society is becoming more vocal."

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