Gender violence in the Spotlight

Judges slated for overturning sex abuse life sentence

The scourge of child abuse and child rape is a gaping wound on our collective conscience and an issue that remains constant in newspaper headlines and news bulletins.

The High Court in Pretoria this week overturned a life imprisonment sentence of a Lydenburg man who, for years, forced his young step daughter to re-enact scenes from pornographic movies with him, to twenty years on the grounds that the rape was not the most serious type.

Might it be that way, because whether it is an adult or child, it is not the accuser who is believed but the perpetrator?

Bongani Bingwa, host of the Afternoon Drive show on 702

Women & Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) director Miranda Jordan-Friedmann says she was shocked and in disbelief that the two judges presiding over the case failed to understand the gravity of this crime.

"To me, this sends a strong message, that it is okay when you're caught putting a penis in a child's mouth because whether they are six, twelve or sixteen because you will not get severely punished as you would if you had raped them", says Jordan-Friedmann.

It is utterly appalling. We know from the work we do with child survivors of sexual abuse, it is all the same as far as the long term consequences. The betrayal, the shame, the dysfunctionality, the self abuse.

Miranda Jordan-Friedmann, director at the Women & Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA)

Obviously we have two very uneducated judges calling this sentence.

Miranda Jordan-Friedmann, director at the Women & Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA)

Jordan-Friedmann says rape is rape and is considered the most repulsive and degrading crimes. She adds that our criminal justice system is stacked against children, women and men who have sexual offences perpetrated against them.

She goes on to say that what victims are out through, even in the courts is part of the problem. Jordan-Friedmann also notes that there some good sentences then you get such judgments that sets everything back in time again.

Take a listen:

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