A new code has been released by the Department of Basic Education on how officials must deal with pupils who commit rape, sexual abuse and harassment.
Clinical director at the Teddy Bear Clinic, Dr Shahida Omar and Founder of South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Samsosa) Rees Mann talk to Bongani Bingwa about what the code means and how effective it will be.
This code has been long overdue if we just look at the spate of sexual violence in schools on learners against learners.— Dr Shahida Omar, Clinical director - Teddy Bear Clinic
We know that more than 43% of learners are engaging in sexually aggressive behaviour towards other learners and a lot of the children have been falling through the cracks because educators have had no idea on how to identify, manage and report in terms of legislation protocols and procedures.— Dr Shahida Omar, Clinical director - Teddy Bear Clinic
She believes that this code will ensure that these behaviours will be addressed appropriately to prevent further victimisation.
Mann disagrees, saying the new code is far too lenient.
This code is not victim orientated. It has a lot of protocol on what must happen to the perpetrator. The perpetrator has to go through rehabilitation programmes. This code is very scarce on what happens to the victim.— Rees Mann, Founder - Samsosa
He adds that Samosa believes this new code needs to be more victim-oriented.
He says, for example, there is a big difference between a 13-year-old perpetrator and a 17-year-old one assaulting a 13-year-old.
That is where we have issues with this new code as the 17-year-old has got criminal capacity.— Rees Mann, Founder - Samsosa
Listen below to the full interview:
This article first appeared on 702 : Should new school pupil sexual assault code be more victim-oriented? NGOs debate