SAHRC: Resources under strain in dealing with abuse cases

An inter-ministerial committee on violence against women and children has found 1 in every 3 children in South Africa are likely to be sexually abused.

FILE: A demonstrator at the official launch of the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence Against Women and Children Campaign. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says that while South African legislation to combat violent abuse is adequate, the system is buckling under the number of cases it deals with.

The commission was part of an imbizo in Khayelitsha on Thursday, hosted by the Justice Department.

An inter-ministerial committee on violence against women and children has found that 1 in every 3 children in South Africa is likely to be sexually abused.

The SAHRC’s Tammy Carter says that while South Africa's laws are advanced, resources to deal with the amount of cases of abuse are strained.

“Our SAPS brothers and sisters are staggering under the weight. The magistrates and prosecutors are experiencing the same thing. Legal Aid is overrun.”

Advocate Sharien Ebrahim says there is no easy answer as to how to address the issue.

“It’s a question all of us ask ourselves. Communities need to be told how to empower children and how to make them aware of abuse.”

Both experts have called on communities to be actively involved in combating abuse against women and children.

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(Edited by Shimoney Regter)