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Cape Town - Boredom, opportunity and revenge are some of the reasons men rape and sexually assault children. 

Last week, the Saartjie Baartman Centre shared rape statistics they compiled using a number of reports. 

The stats revealed that one in three men said they raped out of boredom, particularly in child rape cases. 

“Most men start to rape in their teenage years, between 15 and 19. More than half of the men that have raped a girl younger than 15 say they did it to ‘have fun’ or ‘as part of a game.”

Half of the men said they raped children out of opportunity, as they believed the child would not tell. 

Deborah Ho-Chung was sexually abused by her aunt’s husband from when she was nine years old, until she turned 16. 

Ho-Chung said the abuse stopped when she told the relative that she would kill him in his sleep if he didn't stop touching her.

“When there is any kind of abnormal behaviour then you should worry. We are not saying you have to be paranoid about all men around your child, but it's about having the knowledge. The information is all there on the internet.”

She said some of the signs include self-injury, inadequate hygiene and drug and alcohol abuse. 

She said the effects of sexual abuse or assault were lasting and, now 57, she has been diagnosed with a personality disorder. 

“The emotional scars are there. It touches every aspect of your life and the worst are the psychological disorders. It's not so much the sexual thing, you can get over the sexual thing. Everyone is different but there is always a whole lot of damage at the other end.”

The Tears Foundation provides access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling, and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse. 

The organisation’s Charlene Roberson said there is a wide range of reasons men rape. 

“It could even be for revenge on the mother of the child or a family member that takes care of the child. It is never because of sexual urge, it is always about control.”

Chairperson of the Mitchells Plain Impact Association, Joanie Fredericks said they are dedicated to eradicating sexual violence, but stressed it was something everyone needs to be dedicated to. 

“While we seek for ways to address the issue of violence against women, children and men please reach out and be a support to that victim because she/he has gone through too much already. Hold them up and support them and work with us in stopping these sexual attacks on the vulnerable from happening in the first place.”

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Cape Argus