Frequently asked Questions

Can the paedophile be stereotyped? The answer is absolutely not!

  • The homosexual male paedophile will only abuse boys and might have age preferences, whereas the heterosexual paedophile will abuse girls at any age, the smaller the child is, the easier it is not to be discovered. Baby rape is most of the time connected to witchcraft.
  • The female who abuse boys in most cases prefers young teenage boys from the age of 12 years, when they reach puberty.
  • The abused child may abuse other children mainly smaller than himself regardless of sex.
  • Any person who obtains or provides material depicting sexual abuse or child pornography via the Internet or any other form of media
  • Religion and culture also influence the definition of sexual and other abuse.

What about the law?

Section 28 – South African bill of rights entitled "children"

  • Every child has the right to:
    • a name and a nationality from birth
    • family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment
    • basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services
    • be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation
    • be protected from exploitative labour practices...

  • When is a child not innocent anymore?
    • No absolute
    • Prefect society – Puberty
    • There is no specific age and varies from child to child and it can be determined by the environment they are growing up in.
    • In general – if a child has grown up in a secure and protected environmentit usually is when he/she starts to “feel naked”
    • Most countries the legal responsibility age is between ages 12 and 14. However, when a child commits a sexual offence they can be prosecuted at a very young age. By definition a sexual offence is a socially inappropriate act with regard to a breast, vagina, penis or anus. For more information please check the applicable Sexual offences Act.(South Africa Act 32/2007)

General Questions

  • I discover my child is being abused, what do I do?
    • If the child confides: First believe the child and get all the information the child is willing to share.
    • If somebody else informs you: First establish a trust relationship. If you have a “Not Guilty” book, work through it and ask the child if something like that ever happened to him/her. If you do not have a book, tell the child a similar story of a fictional child (give him/her a name) and ask the same question.
    • Seek professional advice/counselling - especially when the perpetrator is prosecuted, but most important, it is your future support and actions that will make the biggest impact. Sadly some children are more traumatized through these actions, than the abuse itself.
  • What do we do when we “catch” them in the act? (Not the same as in question 1, but is in all probability a copycat act of abuse he/she has suffered.)
    • First establish this rule: In our house/family we do not do “this act”.
    • If possible always give an explanatory reason. E.g. That is something that we have learned, or if you haven't, I am teaching it to you now. Do not condemn with: “because you are bad/ugly or God is going to punish you.”
    • Now, establish the fact that they do have the discerning voice of Conscious. “I am sure your heart told you that you shouldn't have.”
    • Now ask, “where have you learned, or who taught you this,” if they haven't already offered the information in an attempt to exonerate themselves.
  • How do I teach my children the terms Penis and Vagina?
    • Use the sketches on pages 13 and 14 of not guilty books or an encyclopaedia/Internet that has simple or complex sketches to teach simple truths. E.g. “Here is your tummy, all your food goes there and here is your penis/vagina.” Very important: Show and explain the pictures of the opposite sex to the child as well.
  • May I use the family’s nicknames?
    • In my opinion, yes, BUT only if it is not a degrading name and if your child is equipped with the real terms. The child immediately refers to information he/she is acquainted with. However, if your child is being abused and he/she knows the terms penis/vagina, there could be no doubt or misinterpretation of his/her testimony.
  • How do I change it?
    • Explain to the child that some of us have nicknames, using an example the child is familiar with. Also say: “Sometimes we call your nose a cute button or naughty ears, shells, so some people call a penis/vagina this or that, but I want you to be clever and know the real names, just like you know your cute button is really a nose.”
    • This is an excellent opportunity to build the child’s confidence at a young age. You do not want them to be called or use abusive nicknames.
  • Why can’t I just give them a list of people who are allowed to touch them?
    • You will never know if someone is a perpetrator.
    • You are misplacing the child’s trust and you are giving him/her the responsibility to evaluate the person that will only result in confusion and anxiety.
    • You are not teaching them to trust their own ability to discern right from wrong.
  • What if he/she already has a stethoscope play set etc. to play Doctor-Doctor?
    • Encourage them to dream, but lay down the rules. E.g. “No undressing and do not create wounds, aches and pains to treat.”
  • Will they be confused, if they are accidently or purposefully hurt by others?
    • The answer is yes, but never disregard a complaint as you will discourage them from reporting abuse. Be patient and listen to the circumstances and only give it the amount of attention it deserves. This way they also establish your trustworthiness and after a few false alarms they will be able to discern whether or not they should complain. Children who are being bullied may also find the courage to report it.
  • My child is stimulating his/her genitals, what should I do? (older than 2yrs)
    • Ask why he/she is doing it, as there may be a good reason for it, like a urine rash.
    • If you see him/her doing it, say, “I know it feels nice, but I do not want you to do that, it is not good for you.”
    • Professional people have different opinions and currently certain Educational Institutes teach that children should be allowed to masturbate, but they should be taught to do it privately.
    • Unfortunately, it is difficult to “un-teach" a habit that addresses a physical need. We do not develop the need for physical touch, we are born with it.
    • My advice to you is to give the child healthy physical touch, as much as possible, such as a tender scratch on the back, that lasts longer than 2 seconds.
  • What if my child insists that the Doctor had hurt him/her?
    • Most of the time children already know why they are in pain, when they go to the doctor, but if there are any doubts, empathise with them, but remind them that the pain was the reason for going to the doctor.
  • How do I react when my child sees a used menstrual pad/tampon?
    • Use seemingly embarrassing situations as opportunities to teach.
    • Remember, a child is instinctively scared by the sight of blood. Set their minds at ease. E.g. “It is not blood from a wound.” Use an encyclopaedia or the Internet to get a picture, or draw a simple sketch and give a simple explanation.
    • Depending on the child's age and ability he/she will quickly give you an indication of how much information is sufficient.
    • Do not think the child is unaware of regularly shown sanitary advertisements; they make their own assumptions about the subject.
  • How do I set things right, if I have already misinformed him/her?
    • Be careful not to accuse yourself of untrustworthiness.
    • Start by saying: “I know I have informed you otherwise, but I have also learned new and better things/ways.”
    • The younger the child the easier it is to set things right. Immediately start to change behaviour patterns, if you delay it too long you might have far more embarrassing questions to answer.

Signs of abuse

  • I am always reluctant to give the signs of abuse, because there are people who tend to overreact. Please do not use the signs as an absolute fact that your child is being abused. There is always more than one explanation for a physical sign as well as a psychological change.Furthermore, please do not use the signs as a checklist to determine if your child is being abused and neglect to teach prevention.Approximately 50% of sexually abused children do not show any signs. If the signs are obvious it is more likely that there is a perfectly rational explanation for it, as sexually abused children always try to hide what they believe to be their shame.

  • Physical signs
    • Toilet trained children might start having “accidents” again.
    • Older children could start wetting the bed again.
    • Pain and discomfort from and around the genitals and anus.
    • Pain and discomfort when urinating.
    • Sexually transmitted diseases on the genitals and around the mouth.
    • Stress related illnesses such as nausea.
    • Hurts and/or abuses other children.
    • Stimulates genitals.
    • Imitates sexual acts.
  • Psychological signs
    • Afraid of the dark.
    • Nervous and easily frightened.
    • Usually independent children revert to “toddler dependency”
    • Personality changes:Rebellion; Disobedience
    • Denies own sexuality and behaves like the opposite sex.
    • The child is afraid of, or refuses all of a sudden to have contact with specific people (adults or other children).
  • Other signs
    • The child has money which is unaccounted for.
    • The child is being spoiled with money and/or gifts by a familiar person for no real reason (such as birthdays).
    • A person is always trying to be alone with a child and makes any kind of offer or excuse to achieve it.

Direct and indirect effects OF Sexual Abuse:

  • abortion, incest
  • prostitution
  • suicide
  • substance abuse (alcohol and drugs)
  • anorexia & eating disorders
  • homosexuality
  • HIV & AIDS
  • new Generation of abusers are created


Every THIRD CHILD in South Africa is being abused, regardless of sexuality. (2021)
Statistically, for only the reported cases, 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys are sexually abused. Remember statistics are only on paper and represent minor offences to rape.


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