South Africa: one third of teenagers sexually abused

Days after a horrific case in which 6 adult males gang-raped a nine-month-old baby girl comes the revelation that 33% of adolescents, male and female, are the victims of sexual abuse.

The statistics are revealed by the non-government organisation “Information, Responsibility and Transparency for the Community”. It is based on a study of 27,000 children in the Johannesburg region and it claims that one in three adolescents is sexually abused.

The incidence of sexual abuse affects males and females in equal numbers. The study also revealed that 10% of boys considered that the female victims were “asking for it” and a further 10% claimed that the girls enjoyed the experience.

Professor Neil Anderson, one of the team conducting the study, added that “more surprising than the boys’ opinions are those of the girls, who accept sexual violence as a way of life”. 6% of the teenage girls said that they thought they did not have the right to escape such treatment.

Vice President Jacob Zuma states that he will call a moral summit. Professor Anderson questions how effective this will be in a society which produces cases in which a nine-month-old baby girl undergoes such horrific injuries that she has had to have several operations to repair her anus, intestines and genital organs after being gang-raped by six adult males, who claimed they thought having sex with a virgin would cure them of AIDS. The girl faces a strong possibility of becoming infected with HIV.


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