SABC3 09.30pm Tuesday 23 September *
The sexual abuse of children, and their ‘double victimization’ by the criminal justice system intended to protect them; falls under the spotlight in this week’s Special Assignment.
In the second of a two-part series on the recently amended Sexual Offences Act, the SABC’s award-winning investigative documentary programme delves into the reasons why the new law, despite its good intentions – continues to be handicapped by a deeply flawed web of bureaucracy that act against the best interests of child victims.
The episode, entitled ‘Court in the Act Part II’ will air. It is the culmination of a lengthy investigation into the ‘cracks’ in the criminal justice system, into which the young victims of sexual abuse, fall. The programme tells the harrowing story of one young boy’s experience at the hands of law-enforcers, and those tasked with bringing perpetrators of sex crimes against children, to justice. The teenager is what may be called ‘a serial victim,’ whose short life has already been irreparably scarred by countless acts of abuse at the hands of adults he trusted. Despite his age, and the nature of the abuse – all meaning clear penalties in terms of the new law – the boy never got to see justice served against his abuser. The state prosecutor deemed his case to have no prospects of success, because he accepted meagre pocket money from his abuser.His story illustrates how, despite the progressive and far-reaching amendments to the law – in the absence of efficient and well-trained personnel, as well as adequate resources, the legislation is doomed to have minimal impact.
*Extracted from the SABC3 website