The nature of rape incidents involving children ages 7-15 years in the Queenstown district
As an employee in the South African Police Service, Family Violence, Child Protection Unit the researcher has noticed that there is an increase in the number of rape incidents in children. This became evident from the intake statistics which indicate that there is an estimate of 15 children per month from the Queenstown district who reported incidents of alleged sexual abuse and/ or rape at the offices of the Family Violence Child Protection Unit during 2009. The number of intakes at the Family Violence, Child Protection Unit increased even more after an awareness campaign on sexual abuse and rape was launched in the Queenstown area. Out of these office statistics it is clear that the phenomenon of child sexual abuse and rape is a very serious problem in Queenstown. Unfortunately no research is available regarding the unique situation of victims in the specific geographical area that contributes to the high incident levels. The aim of the research was to explore the nature of rape incidents involving children in the Queenstown area in order to assist social worker in this area to better understand possible risk factors contributing to child sexual abuse, as well as how to address the phenomenon better by means of effective prevention programmes and forensic social work services. Purposive sampling was conducted among forensic social workers and children from the caseload of the researcher who had been raped in the Queenstown area. This research reveals that children in the Queenstown area do not have adequate knowledge on child sexual abuse and rape. The children in this area are vulnerable because of many circumstances and become, therefore, victims of rape. Looking at the nature of rape incidents in the Queenstown area, there is a definite need for social workers with specialized knowledge, skills and experience regarding forensic social work who can render services to children who were raped.
- Humanities