South Africa: Matla a Bana Works to Ease the Process for Victims of Child Rape

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In the 2000s when stories of babies being raped shocked the nation, Monique Strydom wanted to find out what led to men raping babies. Seventeen years after starting her NGO, Matla a bana, Strydom helps make the reporting of sexual offences easier for children.

In 2000 Monique Strydom and her husband and 21 other people were held hostage for 127 days, during which time she had "a calling" to start an NGO that would focus on children who had been raped.

In 2002 Strydom chaired a task team that looked into child rape. At the time baby Tshepang's case had horrified Strydom. Baby Tshepang was a nine-month-old who had been raped by her mother's ex-boyfriend.

Strydom says they never found out why men rape children. "Something else is driving men (to rape children). Raping a nine-month-old baby is so sore for the child and I don't understand why someone would do it; maybe we should ask the men," Strydom told Daily Maverick.

What Matla a bana tries to do is "minimise the secondary trauma" for children reporting sexual offences.

The 2018/2019 statistics recorded 52,420 reports of sexual offences. Of these cases, 7,680 involved victims who were 19 or younger.

Strydom...

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