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What are sexual offences?

The Sexual Offences Amendment Act (SOAA) protects any person who has experienced rape, sexual assault, sexual grooming, incest, child pornography or prostitution, etc.

Rape occurs when a person forces another to have sexual intercourse without their consent. This is a crime and must be reported. The SOAA also makes it a crime for a person to force another person to rape someone. This is known as compelled rape.

Sexual assault occurs when a person sexually violates another person without their consent. This is a crime and must be reported. The SOAA also makes it a crime for a person to force another person to witness and or perform sexual acts to someone. This is known as compelled sexual assault.

Sexual grooming occurs when a person educates/ introduces or prepares a child to perform/witness any sexual act or became sexually ready. A child is usually unaware that the person is grooming him/her for sexual acts because this person is often nice to the child. In most instances, after realising the motive of the person, the child is usually scared to speak or report this because the incident could have been taking place over a long period of time. This is a crime and must be reported. The same may also occur with persons living with mentally disabled persons.

Incest occurs when people who are related and are not allowed to marry each other engage in a sexual act with each other even though they both agreed to do so. It is illegal and should be reported.

Child pornography occurs when a person or company uses a child for a reward or money for the purpose of publishing pornographic material. 

Child prostitution occurs when a person uses a child or any person living with mental disabilities to expose or display to prostitution or engaging him/ her in sexual acts for a reward.

You have the right to:

1. Dignity and Privacy – When you report cases to the police and at a public hospital or clinic. When you report to police, you will be taken to a separate room where you can speak in an office or environment that you are comfortable with.

2. Information – When you report to a public hospital, you will receive information on procedures required to have the alleged perpetrator be tested for his or her HIV status and right to receive Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

3. Treatment – The courts will appoint a competent person to act as an intermediary in cases where, a witness under the age of eighteen would suffer undue mental stress if he or she were to testify at such proceedings without the assistance of Intermediary services.