Suspect arrested for rape of Atlantis boy (12)

The child was raped and beaten on Saturday afternoon, on the eve of Child Protection Week.

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CAPE TOWN - A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the rape of a 12-year old Atlantis boy.

The child was raped and beaten on Saturday afternoon, on the eve of Child Protection Week.

The incident follows the rape of a 13-year-old girl in Mfuleni who was attacked last Wednesday.

The Western Cape social development MEC Albert Fritz has described the incidents as horrendous acts.

The police's Debbie Alard says, "We can confirm that a 24-year-old suspect was arrested on 1 June for the rape of a 12-year-old boy that occurred over the weekend. The suspect will appear in the Atlantis Magistrates Court on 3 June."

Meanwhile, a child protection Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) believes the virtue of respecting elders could be increasing the risk sexual victimisation.

A study by the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention has revealed at least one in three children in South Africa are victims of sexual violence by the age of 17.

Besides the two incidents in Atlantis and Mfuleni, the Teddy Bear Clinic says it's dealt with dozens more countrywide over the past two weeks.

The organisation's director, Shaheda Omar, says a change in the way children are taught to interact with adults could help lower the risk of sexual victimisation.

"There's this implicit message of respecting one's elders, always be co-operative, compliant. This needs to be revisited. The messages that are indoctrinated in children is that one always adheres or complies to any request made by an adult."

She says child rape victims often feel obliged to go along with an older person because this is what they've been taught.

"That you always respect your elders and they are taught to do that and if they fail to do that they feel that they are regarded as disobedient."

Omar says at least 90 percent of rape victims at the clinic have been attacked by strangers.