Sexual abuse of children and handling of sex offenders by South African criminal justice system

  • Mandlenkosi Richard Mphatheni
Keywords: Female; legal framework; men; sexual offences; child.


In order to improve child protection, the South African government went through a legislative reform process. However, sexual victimization of children continues unabated. As a result, the objectives of this study were to provide a systematic discourse using seminal authors on the subject to illustrate the legal framework enacted to address sexual abuse of children and the treatment of sex offenders by the South African criminal justice system. The non-empirical research design: systematic review methodology was used to analyze grey literature and primarily research studies that have been peer-reviewed and published. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews, and Meta-Analyses and Critical Appraisal Skill Programme were employed to ensure trustworthiness of the findings of this study. The study established that females are generally thought to be harmless because they lack the weapon that is the penis, but this belief obscures the fact that sexual offenses can be committed without the use of a penis. The study discovered that society, whether passively or actively, plays a significant role in allowing child sexual offenses to occur. This study suggests that in order to effectively address child sexual abuse, the focus should be shifted to the perpetrators of child sexual abuse. The study also suggests that the South African government should implement a policy framework that focuses on child sexual abuse perpetrators.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231