Friday, July 15, 2005

Child abuse in Southern Africa.

South Africa:

Juggie Naran, in the 'Sunday Argus', 10 July 2005, reported on a survey showing that 'More younger children are having sex.'

CIET Africa (Community Information, Empowerment and Transparency), a network of professionals from various disciplines, carried out a survey in 2002. They found:

One out of every three children is having sex at the age of 10, and 17 out of 100 will deliberately spread the virus if they know they are HIV-positive.

The survey was published in the British Medical Journal last year.The study involved 269 905 pupils in Grades 6 to 11 in all language groups, across a range of schools.

Some of the other disturbing findings included:

Two out of 10 pupils did not believe condoms prevented pregnancy or other sexually transmitted diseases.

One in 10 said they believed sex with a virgin could cure HIV/Aids.

One in 10 had been raped in the past year.

Three out of every 100 pupils thought that girls liked sexually violent boys.

One out of every 10 thought that girls who got raped, asked for it.

The study reported: "43 percent of all sexual crimes committed on children reported to Childline, were committed by children under 18."

CIET Africa research concluded that of every 394 offences committed, only 272 were reported.

The study also found:

Children can, in fact, heal. It is essential to acknowledge and support the child's capacity to heal and benefit from therapy and a healing environment.

Children often cannot say "no" because the abuser is more powerful physically and psychologically. There is a universal norm of respect for an older person that most children have internalised. Older people have access to resources children may need or want and use these to manipulate the child.

The Advice Desk for the Abused executive director, Fatima Bayat, said:

"Media, especially television, plays a very influential role to enhance kids' curiosity and encourages them to become sexually active. Explicit messages with sexual connotations are common.

"Often young girls, deprived of financial security and love, become victims of rape or consenting to sex for fear of rejection."


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