The identification of factors contributing to the vulnerability to sexual abuse of orphans in a rural area
Ncanywa, Nomakubenje Agnes
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Sexual abuse of children is a major problem in South Africa. There is an increasing number of orphans in urban but also in rural areas of children and orphans who are sexually abused. The researcher experienced in her daily work as social worker in the rural area of the Oliver Tambo district Municipality children and orphans who are sexually abused. The aim of this study is to identify the risks factors contributing to the vulnerability of orphans towards sexual abuse. Purposive sampling was conducted among social workers who have experience with orphans who were sexually abused in the Ngqeleni and Port St Johns areas of the Oliver Tambo District in the Eastern Cape. Semi-structured interviews were conducted by the researcher with the social workers as well as document analysis from the files of orphans who were sexually abused from the caseloads of these social workers. From the data received it has been confirmed that family members where orphans grew up fail often to accept and to treat them like their own children, especially when they are not sharing the same clan name with the children. Orphans do not always get full support and protection like other children in the family. This situation makes it even more difficult for them to talk freely about their challenges. Lack of knowledge also plays a role to these children as they fail to report to government departments and community leaders. Looking at the vulnerability of orphans in the Oliver Tambo District, there is a definite need for social workers to empower orphans and their caregivers with knowledge in preventing orphans from being sexually abused. There is also a need for forensic social workers to help with the assessment of orphans who are sexually abused in order to assure more successful prosecutions of alleged perpetrators.
- Humanities