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Sexual abuse hits 1 in 5 children in South Africa, bishops report

May 23, 2017

One out of every five children in South Africa suffers sexual abuse, according to a study released by the country’s bishops.

“The social and human cost is immense,” said Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, the president of the South African bishops’ conference. Each incident of abuse, he said, “causes the delicate fabric of our soceity to unravel that much more.

The archbishop reported that alcohol and drug abuse are factors in many instances of abuse. Also, he said, “Participation in gangs is commonplace and may result in collective violence and gang rape.”

Archbishop Brislin said that the answer to sexual abuse is not merely “investing huge sums of money in the criminal justice system,” but efforts to provide for better family life and interventions in dangerous situations.


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