Children's Health Sexuality

When a child rapes

Written by Health-e News

What motivates a five-year old to rape a two-year-old toddler? In Umtata and East London such incidents are becoming increasingly common. In the first six weeks of 2004, 40 cases of child rape by other children were reported at Umtata Sinawe Rape Crisis Centre. In the first of a two-part series, Health-e visits the rape crisis centres in Mdantsane and in Umtata.

Duration:4 min 18sec

Transcript

SIBONGILE CEBEKHULU: Ama-cases esihlangabezana nazo lana eThuthuzela, enye yawo   bekungumntwana o-around 4 ‘€“years old I won’€™t say the name but apparently ngabantwana bebedlala according to them because bebefaka amasticks and izinto lezi zama toys zabo kwi private part yomunye umntwana and ebengakwazi nokuhamba why because kushukuthi indlela bebeyenze ngayo bebeyenze kakhulu for a long time ebengakwazi ukuhamba kwaze kwafunakala ukuthi aye for an operation so that azokukwazi ukuthi ancedakala. Amanye esidibana nawo utholukuthi umntwana ongumfana enziwe ngomnye ubhuti then yean a-end up(e) sele bona ngathi yinto e-right ayenze nakwabanye abantwana esikolweni. Amanye amacases esithe sadibana nawo okwamanjelabo bantwana asibayeki nje because we can’€™t take them to court siba send(a) for i-therapy so that bazokwazi ukuthi babe right babuyele back to normal because at the end of the day basese ngabantwana kusafanele baphile ubomi babo just like any other kids.

TRANSLATION:   Some of the cases that we come across here at Thuthuzela, is that at some stage we had a case of a four ‘€“year old child, I won’€™t mention her name, apparently she was playing with other children and according to them they inserted sticks and toys in her vagina and because was a severe damage in her private part. This led to a situation where this child had to be operated because she was unable to walk. Some of the cases are those of sodomy of young boys by older man and then the boy decides to copy what has been done to him and start doing it to other boys at school. What we do with these cases because we don’€™t take them (children) to court we try and send these children for therapy so that they can be rehabilitated back t be normal children and so that they can live normal lives just like any other kids.

THANDEKA: Lowo nguSibongile Cebekhulu, ophuma kwiThuthuzela Care Centre umbutho ojongene namaxhoba odlwengulo eMdantsane.

Translation: That was Sibongile Cebekhulu, a Victim Assistant Officer at Thuthuzela Care Rape Crisis Centre in Mdantsane.

THANDEKA: Nase Mtata zixhaphakile iingxelo zodlwengulo lwabantwana.USister Nomalawu Mantantana wase Sinawe Rape Crisis Centre eMtata uthi bafumana ingxaki nabantwana abancinci abadlwengula abanye oontanga babo.

Translation: In Umtata there’€™s an increase in the reporting of child rapes. Sister Nomalawu Mantantana of Sinawe Rape Crisis Centre in Umtata says they are experiencing a problem with under-aged children who rape their peers.

SISTER MANTANTANA: Abazali abaninzi abezayo apha bathi abantwana abadlwengulwayo isikakhulu ngabantwana abadlala nabo ngakumbi ke abantwana aba close abahlala nabo badlangokukhalaza ngalonto abazali. Isizathu abasazi isikakhulu abadlangokufuna ukumangala xa beza nabo. Kodwa ke kulonyaka ukuqala ngo January ukuzokutsho ngoku abantwana baninzi gqithi   ngaphezu kwabantu abadala abadlwengulwa ngabanye abantwana. Abantwana abakoo two – years badlwengulwe ngabantwana abaku five ‘€“ years. Ze abantwana abana five, six years badlwengulwe ngabantwana abana eleven noo twelve, noo thirteen ufumnanise ukuba yi group yabantwana edlwengula lomntwana isizathu asikasazi ukuba yintoni, yinto efuna ukuqwalawelwa ke le.

Translation: Lots of parents who come here say their children are raped by children who are close to them and who normally play with them. They don’€™t know why they rape others. Parents refuse to open cases when they bring perpetrators here. Between January and mid February we had about 40 cases of child rape. Children’€™s cases exceed the number of adult rape cases. For example, two year olds are raped by five or six year olds. Then the five and six year olds are gang raped by the 11, 12 and 13-year olds. This is something we have to look at.

THANDEKA: Ingaba bona abantwana bathi isizathu sokuba badlwengule yintoni?

Translation: What are children saying is the reason for them raping other children?

SISTER MANTANTANA: Abantwana akukho nto bayithethayo ngaphandle kokuba umntana isikakhulu uyakuza apha engakhange akhawuleze axele, azokuxela sekududala. Abanye bayatsho ukuba bayibone eTV(in) abanye bayatsho ukuba bayibone kwabanye abadala besenza lento babone ke nabo ukuba mabakhe bayilinge kwabanye abantwana.

Translation: Children are not willing to talk. The only thing they do is to come here when it’€™s already late. Some say that they see these things on TV, others say they watched their older siblings and they thought of experimenting on other children.

THANDEKA: Ngokuka Sibongile Cebekhulu, osebenza eThuthuzela Care Centre, abantwana ngabona beza ngobuninzi kweli ziko. Uthi xa befika apha apha baye banxulunyaniswe nomphathi wendawo nothi abacacisele ngoncedo abazakulifumana, kwipyschologists, nokuba kuzakufuneka ukuba bahlolwe. Uthi abantwana baye balungiselelwe ukuba bakwazi ukuthetha namapolisa nalapho bezakuchaza okwehlileyo.

Translation: Sibongile Cebekhulu, of Thuthuzela Care Centre says it is   mostly children who visit the centre for help. She says when they come to the centre they are welcomed by the site coordinator who tells them how the procedure works. For example, they will first see a psychologist and then need to be examined. Children are told that they will also meet the police where a statement detailing what happened will be taken.

  SIBONGILE: Sivuleleke kwiminyaka yonke but mostly abantu esibabonayo ngabantwana because yibona ngathi basengxakini at the moment. Bonke abeza apha sube bedlwenguliwe ngingasho ngithi from five- years up to fifteen and then the rest are adults. As soon befika sube kukhona wonke umuntu ecentre but umuntu abaqala ngokumbona yi-site coordinator ekungeyona ebacacisela yonke into ukuthi kuzokwenzekelani wonke ama procedure nokuthi kuazkufanele ukuthi ba exemine(we)yonke into ezakwenzeka before ize yenzeke so that bazoku feel(a) at ease so that bazakukwazi by the time be meet(a) amapolisa sebe comfortable sebeyakwazi nokutsho into eyenzekileyo. Abantu aba involved kule process yi site coordinator, ivictim assistant officer ama ‘€“police officers, ama psychologists, the nurses and the counselors.

Translation: We welcome everybody from any age group, but we are seeing a huge number of children because they are the ones who seem to be in trouble. Many of the people who come here who have been raped range in age from five to fifteen years, the rest are adults. During their first visit at the centre they are introduced to the Site Coordinator who tells them of the procedures they should follow.

THANDEKA: Ingaba ke abantwana xa befika apha bayafuna ukuthetha siyafumanisa kumaxesha amaninzi abafuni ukuthetha especially xa bezakubona abantu abangamadoda.

Translation: How do the children respond when they come here? Are they willing to relate what has happened especially when they see males?

SIBONGILE: Abantwana bayesaba ukuthetha for the first time but then after be undergo(e) le process ye debriefing bayakwazi ukuthethatha. Abanye bayazizela ngoba maybe umakhulu or umama sube ebone ukuthi umntwana mhlawumbi ube nedischarge or abanye sube beyireport(ile) icase and then from there i-arrangement yenziwe with different police stations kuthi ibe yibona ababa transport(ayo) from home to the centre so that bangabi exposed ezintweni zama taxi yonke lonto cause siba consider as vulnerable at that stage.

Translation: Children are scared to talk at first, but then after they have undergone the debriefing process they talk freely. Some children come here maybe their grandmothers or mothers have noticed that she has a discharge or others have already reported a case. We make arrangements with different police stations to transport the survivors from home to the centre so that she (the survivor) does not get exposed to lots of things because we consider her vulnerable at that stage.

 E-mail Thandeka Teyise

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