For more information on child abuse, signs and symptoms and where to report.
POLICE & FCS UNITS
Sexual offences must be reported at the police station in the area where the crime took place (If it happened in another town or province, report at the closest police station).
Police are responsible for all aspects of the investigation, they cannot make decisions in which cases can be reported or prosecuted.
You do not need to take the child with you to open the case. The police will notify the FCS unit who will take the statement of the child.
Wherever possible the child should be supported when giving their statement.
Ask for a copy of the statement and get the details of the investigating officer.
Remember - Disclosure is a process not an event - the police might need to speak to the children several times.
MAIN LAWS (CHILDREN)
The prosecution must prove their case "beyond reasonable doubt".
The prosecutor should consult with the child prior to testifying.
The child must be prepared for the proceedings, role players - address their fears truthfully.
Children needs to know their rights and responsibilities with regards to the case.
Children under the age of 14 will receive the help of an intermediary (older children can request one).
Special needs of children must be communicated to the prosecutor.
A not-guilty verdict should be explained to children - it does not mean that no-one believed them.
FORENSIC MEDICAL EXAMINATION
The medical examiner will need the CAS number (supplied by police).
Ask the child if she/he would like someone to be present during the examination.
Prepare them for what will happen and tell the truth. Encourage kids to ask questions during the process.
Ask for a full medical and genital examination (in sexual offences cases).
The examination should not be painful, but the child can be put under anesthetic if there are serious injuries.
The doctor will complete the form J88 (Medical evidence form).
You should report any child abuse you are aware of or expect is happening.
Report as follows:
SEXUAL OFFENCES Closest Police Station who in return will notify the SAPS Family Violence and Sexual Offences Unit.
PHYSICAL ABUSE Provincial Department of Social Development. Police.
NEGLECT Provincial Department of Social Development.
CHILD LABOUR Police or the Department of Labor.