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Northern Cape - While the police have expressed concern about the number of rape and sex crimes in the Northen Cape, parents have been warned that they will be charged if their children are found in bars and taverns.
Police spokeswoman, Colonel Priscilla Naidu, said that in most cases children as young as 15 years of age were either the perpetrators or victims of rape.
“Violence against women and children in our communities is a concern and needs to be addressed accordingly,” Naidu said. “It is of great concern that in many instances it is the very people who should be trusted as mothers, fathers, friends and relatives who are perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”
According to Naidu, women and girls were being targeted when they left taverns during the early hours of the morning. She added that rape mainly happened behind closed doors, out of the public eye.
“Parents need to know where their children are at all times.”
Naidu warned that parents would be charged in terms of the Child Care Act if their children were found in bars and taverns.
“It is difficult for children to report sexual abuse as, in most cases, the child is very young and does not even understand what has happened is not normal or accepted.
“Therefore parents have an obligation to report to the police any forms of alleged sexual abuse against their children. Failure to do so will also result in criminal cases being opened against them.”
She warned also that tavern owners, who were operating outside the stipulations of their liquor licences, would also be charged.
“Tavern owners will be brought to book if children are found in the bars either drinking or in the company of adults.”
Naidu said the police would be embarking on social crime prevention initiatives with other departments to create awareness among women and children in the Province.
“Everyone has a role to play in combating this scourge and we urge the community not to turn a blind eye but to report the alleged abuse as well as the abusers.
“The fight against crime is an integrated approach which includes addressing decent values. Rape and sexual abuse of women and children is a sensitive and serious issue and we are calling on the community, parents and schools to strengthen learning and bonding at schools by addressing aggressive behaviour and poor concentration in partnership with the police.”
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