The terrifying prevalence of child sexual abuse is costing the country by the billion

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

Despite the Children’s Act, the Child Justice Act and Section 28 of the South African constitution, SA's children remain exposed to physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as evidenced by horrifying facts revealed in the 2016 Optimus Study.

Conducted nationally by the University of Cape Town and the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention, the study revealed that by 17, nearly a million South Africans – 784 967 – experienced sexual abuse in one form or another. 

And making reference to a study by KPMG in 2014, this has had severe impact on the country’s economy, “between R28.4 billion and R42.4 billion for the 2012/2013 year alone.” 

And much more disheartening than the monetary loss, is that only 13% of this large number of citizens have reported abuse to the police. 

The TEARS Foundation has made an invaluable emergency helpline service available to all South Africans. 

By dialling the Help at Your Fingertips number – *134*7355# – callers will be given instant access to a database of service providers; including doctors, lawyers and psychologist equipped to provide support for victims at no cost.

Due to the prompt-based technology, the mobile portal will provide details of service providers nearest to the caller. 

If you’d like to access the helpline, dial *134*7355# for immediate assistance. 

For more details on how you can support the TEARS Foundation contact or call 010 590 5920. 

Read more: 

If you'd like to write to Parent24 regarding child sexual abuse email to Please let us know if you would like to remain anonymous. 

Sign up to our weekly newsletter, and you'll receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1780 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
51% - 8673 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
36% - 6090 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 586 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.