CONCERNED: Samantha Jo wrote a book based on her own experience.
Cape Town - Mothers or caregivers of sexually abused children are often vulnerable and uninformed of the legal system. This is why Samantha Jo wrote an A to Z guide on the legal process.

Samantha, whose full name is withheld to protect the identity of her loved one, recorded her experience of the legal system.

Through experience and research, she compiled a 528-page guide, Mercy for Sexually Abused Children.

“There is no time left to dismiss the magnitude or to ignore the darkness of child sexual abuse.

“If children who are victims are to be offered a fair, supporting and secure procedure, there must be changes in the legal process. I was shunted from one place to another as I sought guidance on what to do and where to go.

“While the matter was in court, I discovered that the J88 had gone missing for nine months and I am sharing the knowledge gained through my own case to assist others to not make the same mistakes I did.

“My family and I have been subjected to secondary trauma, having three, going on four forensic assessments. The process has been ongoing for three years.”

Samantha said after suspecting the abuse, she went to report it at the police station. “Because I had no hard evidence I was treated badly by the investigating officer. I was made to feel like I was the criminal.”

In her book, Samantha provides awareness on this dark topic, from recognising child sexual abuse to reporting cases.

“Make sure you get a lawyer well-informed on child sexual abuse. Being misrepresented can do much harm for the case and cause more trauma than necessary. I went through five lawyers.”

Samantha said there needed to be more training for those on the front line.

For Mandela month, Samantha is asking individuals and corporates to fund the printing of 67 books to be distributed at clinics, courts and police stations for free.

You can support this awareness drive by reaching out to Mercy for Sexually Abused Children at 0617672082, or join the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/guidinglightmercy#mercyforchildren. - 

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Cape Argus