Home South African News #ChildProtectionWeek: Mom goes missing after sex abuse of 9-month-old baby

#ChildProtectionWeek: Mom goes missing after sex abuse of 9-month-old baby

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At Cape Town Central police station an officer from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) had the baby examined by a nurse and it was recorded that the infant had old, healed bruises on her genitals.

File photo: INLSA

Cape Times – The sexual abuse of a nine-month-old infant girl has come to light in Child Protection Week, and police are now searching for her mother.

The child’s aunt said she discovered injuries to the baby’s genitals after the mother had left her in her father’s care (names are being withheld to protect the child).

He told the Cape Times his daughter had been brought to him by the mother while he was at work on a Sunday afternoon, April 29.

“I received a call from her that she was going to bring my daughter to me because she wanted to go out with her boyfriend. I told her I was at work at the time and would be unable to take care of the child at work.

“But a few hours later she pitched up at my workplace with my daughter. She left my baby with me with not a stitch of clothing or any nappies. She just gave the clinic card and then left,” he said.

He alerted his sister to assist him in taking care of the child.

“She asked if I had noticed anything wrong with my baby’s genital areas, and I told her I hadn’t noticed anything. She told me that something was wrong and we immediately reported it to the police.”

At Cape Town Central police station an officer from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) had the baby examined by a nurse and it was recorded that the infant had old, healed bruises on her genitals.

“I was very angry and did not know what to think. I have questions daily about where the mother had left my daughter,” he said.

The aunt said they were assisting the police to locate the mother in the hope of having a perpetrator arrested.

“Her phone has been off ever since she left the baby with my brother and all we know is that she last lived in Delft,” she said.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said the matter is under investigation at the Cape Town FCS Unit.

“A criminal case docket will be registered and transferred to Delft police. Old, healed bruises (of more than a month) were recorded on the victim. It is suspected that the child was neglected while in the care of the mother. We are in the process of tracing the mother,” Van Wyk said.

Women and child protection organisation Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said: “It is unfortunate that in crime- and poverty-riddled areas (such as Delft) children suffer the most. We still have a long way to go to protect our women and children.

“But we cannot excuse the mother’s actions because of poverty or crime. A nine-month-old baby cannot protect herself and more needs to be done to eradicate these type of issues so that perpetrators will think twice before they attack our women and children.

“As a nation every year during Child Protection Week and the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign we denounce acts such as these, but it repeats itself and is becoming somewhat normalised. Something is not working and we need to approach this differently,” he said.

One in three children under 18 globally experience violence, physically and sexually, mostly in places where they should feel the most safe, including in their homes, schools and local communities, mainly perpetrated by persons closest to them, according to the UN Children’s Fund.

Meanwhile, government has expressed outrage by the sexual abuse of a nine-month-old baby and has called on law enforcement agencies to take strong and swift action against those responsible.

“It’s appalling that we see a prevalence of gruesome inhumane acts against our children. As we prepare to close National Child Protection Week, society needs to realise the harm that adults are inflicting on children and resolve to break the cycle of abuse and neglect,” said the GCIS Acting Director-General Phumla Williams.m

* Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the mother can contact the police anonymously on Crime Stop 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line 32211.

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Cape Times / IOL