Although South Africa has a strong research infrastructure, no nationally representative study on the extent or impact of child sexual abuse currently exists. To fill this gap, the UBS Optimus Foundation recently commissioned a three year national prevalence and incidence study on child sexual abuse and maltreatment in South Africa. This study, undertaken by a consortium comprising the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP), and the University of Cape Town, was designed to capture data on:
- The annual incidence and prevalence rates of child sexual abuse and maltreatment in South Africa;
- Child sexual abuse within the context of other forms of maltreatment and violence; and
- Identifying the extent and nature of other forms of child abuse and violence, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and exposure to other forms of violence, such as peer victimization, criminal violence and witnessing violence.
In order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the nature, extent and impact of child sexual abuse in relation to other forms of child maltreatment, the study drew on two data sources: firstly, a population survey conducted with a sample of 15 to 17 year old adolescents recruited nationally from schools as well as households, and secondly an agency component that comprising in-depth interviews with frontline staff and agency directors servicing the communities or geographical spaces identified through the sampling process. Through a thorough exploration of these areas, the study aims to:
- Deliver an evidence-base for effective interventions;
- Foster political commitment through government ownership of results;
- Foster further funding through synergies created in implementation;
- Contribute to an understanding of variations in prevalence and dynamics in order to improve the understanding of cross-cultural risk and protective factors; and
- Improve the science and methodology involved in the epidemiology of Child Sexual Abuse.
For more information
Please write to Nuraan Amlay, Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention