11 August 2016 – Sexual abuse series: Centre for Criminal Justice
To continue the discussions on sexual abuse Mrs Fisani Khuboni from the Plessislaer Centre for Criminal Justice and Development (CCJD) spoke to Sizabantwana about the legal side of this topic. Many of the teachers are aware of the CCJD and know Mrs Khuboni and the work she does in their areas.
The Sexual Offences Act states that every adult has a duty to report any child abuse and has to take it further to a legal level. The CCJD works together with social crime prevention based at police stations.
In terms of sexual offences against children a few things should be noted. If a child is under the age of 16 they cannot consent to sex and these offences are grouped together. For example if both children are under the age of 16 they will both be charged under the Child Justice Act. However, if they are both under the age of 16 and one of them was raped by the other then multiple acts will be used to charge the perpetrator. All cases are treated individually and tried on the specifics of the case. The Sexual Offences Act also covers sexual grooming such as showing pornographic material to a child.
It is extremely important to teach children to report any abuse as soon as possible as it is very difficult to gather physical evidence when it is reported much later. The legal system does have various legal Acts to try and protect children as much as possible and hold perpetrators responsible and teachers play an important role in this process and protection of children. Knowledge is power in these situations and any abuse can be reported to child welfare, child line and the police.
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