Are sexual deviants prowling the streets of Newcastle and its surrounding areas? Are our women and children safe from sexual assault this school holidays?
This comes after Newcastle SAPS released an awareness notice, whereby educating women and young girls on safety measures to avoid falling victim to sex crimes.
During the 2017/2018-year, 48 sexual offence cases were reported to the Newcastle SAPS. This figure excludes the 36 rape cases and 10 sexual assault cases also reported.
In the same time period, 162 sexual offence cases were reported in oSizweni. There were also 146 rape cases and 16 sexual assault cases opened during this time.
A total of 123 sexual offence cases reported in Madadeni, with a further 106 rapes and 10 sexual assaults being reported.
Such is the rate of sex crimes over the past year, that Nokulunga Magubane, the satellite station manager and social worker for LifeLine Pretoria’s Newcastle office, said they were seeing 30 to 35 cases per month in 2018 within the Amajuba District.
With the Newcastle SAPS now issuing an awareness campaign educating people on how to minimise the chances of escaping sex-related crimes, one needs to wonder, are our women and children safe?
How does one minimise the chance of falling victim to sex predators?
Newcastle SAPS Spokesperson, Captain Jabulani Ncube says one first needs to look at is the definition of sexual offences.
Sexual Offences involve sex without consent, unwanted sexual touching or being forced to engage in humiliating sexual activity. Whether it be a boy or a girl. No one has the right to force you into sexual activity. No matter what your relationship with this person is.”
This means no one has the right to do any of the following:
- Force you to have sexual activities without your consent
- Touch you in a sexual way without your consent
- Force you to perform a sexual activity which you find unpleasant or humiliating.
Captain Ncube says there are relevant steps to avoid situations which can lead to rape.
When on a date, Captain Ncube says it is important to remember the following:
- Don’t allow anyone to touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable – be firm and clear and say no.
- Avoid leaving your drinks or food unattended in public places.
- Do not accept drinks or food from strangers. They could be spiked.
- Don’t leave a party or social event with someone you do not know or have just met.
- Ask friends for help if someone ignores you when you say no.
- Remember, most rape victims know the rapist and therefore it is instrumental to let others know where you are going and who you will be going with. You have the right to say no.
As it is school holidays, many children are enjoying the freedom the time away from school offers. However, while they enjoy their time off, they need to follow a series of rules to safeguard themselves from predators.
While walking around town, Captain Ncube says people should follow a series of guidelines which include:
- Avoid walking alone as much as possible. Your best defence is having other people nearby.
- Stay in well-lit areas.
- Walk on the side of the street facing traffic.
- Do not hitchhike
- If you have gone out and find a door or window has been forced open during your absence, do not enter. Call the police immediately.
By following these simple steps, while being vigilant about your surroundings, Captain Ncube says you can ensure your chances of facing sexual assault are minimised.