Sexual violence in childhood

All forms of sexual victimization of a girl or a boy under 18 years of age, including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. This includes forced, pressured, coerced, unwanted or unlawful sexual activity with a girl or boy under 18 years of age, or attempts to engage in such activity. Sexual activity may include sexual intercourse or other sex acts, contact or non-contact sexual abuse and harassment, as well as sexual exploitation, in person and online.

Source: INSPIRE Indicator Guidance and Results Framework - Ending Violence Against Children: How to Define and Measure Change (2018)


• 19.8% of adolescents reported some form of sexual abuse (boys 20%; girls 19%) over their lifetime; 11.7% reported having been forced to have sex (Optimus Study). The Optimus Study finds that the rate of sexual abuse in South Africa is higher than the global average.

There was 24 387 sexual offences against children in the SAPS Crime stats for 2018/2019

  • Rape: 18 586
  • Sexual Assault: 4 451
  • Attempted Rape: 562
  • Contact sexual offences: 788

Source: SAPS Crime stats 2018/2019