The North West District has since the beginning of the year recorded a total of 200 sexual offences, 56% percent of which involves children. Out of these cases, 76 are that of defilement while 102 is rape involving minors.
This was revealed by the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mabuse Pule when addressing a social workers meeting in Maun on Tuesday. Pule is currently having a series of meetings across the country addressing issues relating to children and social welfare.
Pule indicated that despite government and various non-governmental organisations’ continued efforts to combat child sexual abuse, the case continue to escalate across the country.
He further said in most incidents children are sexually abused by family members. He expressed concern that mothers tend to silence the abused child in order to protect the perpetrators even when they are aware of the abuse the child is going through.
Pule further noted that some disadvantaged families are often bribed by the perpetrators for them not to report the matter, an act which he condemned noting that culprits often take advantage of the family’s social status to sexually abuse a child.
He further said that perpetrators, who mostly are men should be brought to book, urging social workers to work closely with the courts and the police to ensure that child sexual abuse cases are given the needed attention. He further urged them to network with school heads in order to address issues of sexual abuse.
He further urged social workers to come up with programmes develop children to be assertive and firm enough to stand against abuse and be able to defend themselves.
“I urge social workers to call a men and boys Kgotla to talk about issues of child sexual abuse and how it can affect a child’s life. Women and the girl child should also have separate meetings and be taught to avoid protecting perpetrators regardless of whatever reasons they may think of,” Pule said.
Meanwhile Pule has raised another concern of the trafficking of children from rural areas to urban areas for labour. He indicated that in most cases children as young as 12 years are taken from their disadvantaged families rural areas to urban areas.
“From my understanding of the children’s act taking a child from one area to another to work for you is not only child labour, it is also child trafficking,” Pule said.
Pule has indicated that the act is very secretive with most children and parents usually in the dark about the illegal act.