This article seeks to talk to the specially repugnant wicked deed(s) of child sexual abuse in light of legislation and case law.
Child abuse is a worldwide plague. It takes place in direct light and in the guise perpetrated by those, although not directly committing the moral deed, they opt to remain quiet as accomplices.
Child abuse has far-reaching consequences. It adversely affects the victims as well as those who care about the victims– their family members and the society.
On waging a fight against woman and children abuse, there is a noted trend where it is established that some child care givers sweep under the carpet as it were, the deeds of child abuse perpetrated against children in their care.
Such normally happens where people close to the family prey on the child and then intentionally give some sort of reimbursement to the responsible family member such as grand parents and the likes. In some circumstances, although the family care givers know of the cruel deeds, due to the power of the perpetrator or benefits otherwise derived from the sexual perpetrator, they end up choosing to remain quiet.
This article then seeks to engage the criminal responsibility under our law as well as statutory obligations as imposed, especially by section 17(3) & (4)of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 and some practical case law will be outlined.
LEGISLATION AND PARABLES
The Criminal law Act as amended criminalizes the “keeping quiet” by responsible adults who know that children are being sexually abused and yet opt to not report such perpetrators. The common charge will be the furthering the sexual exploitation of child such persons can in extent also be convicted successfully for rape as accomplices.
This as explained above, and now specifically derived from the terms of the Act, is when any person (e.g grandmother) allows or permits the commission of a sexual act by another (e.g stepfather/close family pastor) with a child, regardless of whether the child consented or not, or such person (grandmother/biological mother) permits property which she owns to be used for the commission of a sexual act with a child. Such persons is guilty of furthering the sexual exploitation of a child. The main ground being their choosing to remain silent.
Another fitting example:
A mother is unemployed and receives money from her boyfriend for her basic needs. She knows that her boyfriend is having sex with her child, but she does not do anything to stop him nor report him to the officials.
PRACTICAL CASE LAW