'Survivor rooms' crucial for abuse victims

A demonstrator at the official Launch of the 16 Days of Activism for no Vilolence Against Women and Children Campaign in Kimberley. Picture: GCIS.
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CAPE TOWN - A forensic social worker on Thursday urged parents to supervise their children properly, in order to prevent sexual abuse.

The Matla A Bana organisation, that assists child abuse victims, opened a ‘survivor's room’ at the Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit in Stellenbosch.

The room is used as a safe space where child victims can explain and identify perpetrators.

A child is raped every three minutes in South Africa and more young boys are becoming victims.

The grim statistics were revealed by forensic social worker Maria Goosen, who said she has seen everything in her five years at the unit.

“Most of the children referred to me are between zero and 10 years-old.”

Goosen said even leaving your child alone outside to play is a really bad idea.

“There is no supervision outside in the streets and most of these things happen when these children are playing in the streets.”

Officials said 80 percent of victims know who committed the offence and child friendly support rooms are crucial to get a child to talk.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)