“This begs the question – how many of the 23,000 girls were abused or raped?” they pose, and add that the majority of the recorded cases “would be statutory rape according to South African law.”
In order to address the situation, CIE officials say they have “alerted school leaders and Child Safeguarding Persons to the possibility of increased abuse.”
“However, there are inadequate numbers of social workers and social support,” they say and add, “What is not addressed is, how are we as families and communities, forming boys and young men in attitudes and behavior.”
They continue, “Do girls have the correct information, not only to understand their own sexuality but also where to seek help when abused?”
Despite the challenges, officials of the Catholic entity in South Africa say they are “currently developing a sexuality program for Catholic schools and will continue to implement the Catholic Board of Educations’ Child safeguarding Policy in order to keep God’s children safe.”
Last year, at the height of increased cases of femicide and Gender-Based violence in the country, Catholic Bishops called for a change of approach in tackling these issues and proposed “an “aggressive and holistic approach.”
“We are calling for a process of rethinking the approach to gender-based violence and femicide, drawing parallels from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that witnessed the involvement of government departments, business sector, civil society and ordinary citizens in their efforts to flatten the infection curve,” members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) said in June 2020.
They explained that the need for the “aggressive and holistic approach is guided by the fact that the government identified gender-based violence as one of the most defining public health, social and human rights issues that confront and affect the country today.”
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At ACI Africa, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news from Africa, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church - so that you can grow in your Catholic faith.
When you subscribe to the ACI Africa Updates, we will send you a daily email with links to the news you need.
Use the form below to stay informed, and to tell us where we can send the ACI Africa Updates!
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.