Child Rape in South Africa

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Since the end of Apartheid, a system of legal racial segregation, South Africa has undergone enormous transformation. While racial equality and political representation for the marginalized black majority has been established, the country faces unprecedented social and health issues…

Introduction

Crime is occurring at an unprecedented rate and South Africa now boasts some of the highest rates of violent crime in the world (De Capua & Robertson 2009). Yet, one of the most pressing social issues to emerge is the sexual violence of children. Child rape is occurring at unprecedented proportions resulting not only in the trauma of children but in the increase of HIV/AIDS infections. The South African legal system is struggling to cope with the number of child rape cases and many children's rights advocates argue that the system is flawed in its handling of sexual abuse victims, in particular children. This paper seeks to examine the issues surrounding child rape in South Africa including the role of the legal system in combating this issue.
Apartheid emerged in 1948 and was a legalized system of segregation separating the white Boer minority from the Black, mixed race and Indian majority (South African Government Information 2008). It was a complex set of laws that resulted in the oppression and marginalization of all non-whites in South Africa. Apartheid was brutally enforced by the white minority and state-sponsored violence was commonly used to maintain order and suppresses social uprisings. ...
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