Childhood sexual abuse leaving traces of trauma into adulthood

Incidents of child sexual abuse continue to go unreported in South Africa, with many children suffering from the trauma of their dysfunctional childhoods into their adulthood years.

This comes as research from the Child Justice Crime Prevention Centre at the University of Cape Town, which revealed that 1 in 5 children are victims of sexual abuse. It also revealed that 800 000 children remain victims of sexual abuse before they reach 17 years of age.

702/Cape Talk's Eusebius McKaiser (standing in for Redi Tlhabi) spoke to director of clinical services at Teddy Bear Clinic, Dr Shaeda Omar, about the complexities surrounding the traumatic experience.

She cautioned parents against overlooking people in close proximity to children, as the threat usually looms within as predators are likely to exploit the trust has exists between families and loved ones.

There is no profile of perpetrators of sexual abuse... What one needs to understand is that it is someone who has easy access to children. Someone likely to be known to the child.

Dr Shaeda Omar, Teddy Bear Clinic

Many victims often feel that it's because they are dirty, they are ugly and are to blame for what happened because that's the _modus _operandi of the perpetrator.

Dr Shaeda Omar, Teddy Bear Clinic
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