Nearly half of sex assault or rape victims under 20



People under the age of 20 made up almost half the 8,000 sexual assault and rape victims in the Eastern Cape between April 2017 and March 2018.
The figures were revealed by safety and liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana in a written response to DA safety and security spokesperson Bobby Stevenson.
While Tikana’s figures showed 7,966 sexually related cases were reported between April 2017 and March 2018, police statistics showed 8,094 cases over the same period.
The breakdown of figures by Tikana comes after the national crime statistics were released in September.
Tikana’s figures showed that three Port Elizabeth policing areas were ranked among the top 10 worst areas in terms of rapes and sexual assault.
For adults, the Kwazakhele policing area was ranked thirdworst in the province, followed by Bethelsdorp at fourth, while New Brighton was ninth.
For children under 17, Bethelsdorp was ranked fourth-worst in the province.
Mthatha and Lusikisiki are ranked first and second in cases where victims were both under and over 18.
According to Tikana’s written reply, dated October 25, children and adults up to the age of 20 accounted for 3,951 of the reported cases, with those above the age of 21 making up the other 4,015 reported cases.
A further breakdown shows 3,601 of those under 20 were girls and 350 were boys. For adult victims, 3,739 were women and 276 men.
Asked what the contributing factors for the sexual offences were, Tikana said unattended children, liquor and drug abuse, increased levels of paedophilia and human trafficking all played a role.
Social activist and counsellor John Preller said while he had not seen a spike in trafficking, it was a reality.
“I would say in Port Elizabeth we are a prime area for trafficking, which ties directly into drugs and sexual abuse.
“It is an extremely under-reported crime worldwide.
“We sit on major road transport routes between other metros as well as having ports of entry and train stations.
“All these aspects make us a high activity area.”
Preller said a major issue in the Bay was the absence of father figures in homes.
“In most of these areas [Kwazakhele, Bethelsdorp and New Brighton], I have noticed a high number of [homes with] no fathers.
“It is very worrying and I am hoping the authorities can get a grip on things before it gets even worse,” he said.
Stevenson said children in the province were falling prey to “vicious sexual predators”.
“More needs to be done to ensure these sexual predators are placed on the National Register for Sex Offenders and that this list is used to monitor these offenders to prevent future crimes,” Stevenson said.
In another question, asked on October 10, Tikana said at least 43 of the 196 police stations in the province did not have permanent victim-friendly support rooms.
These were mostly small stations which did not have sufficient space, she said.
“[At] all these stations offices were made available for statement taking and [that] is used as an interim measure.”

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