Tag Archives: Sexual Offences Act

Concourt ruling against ‘teen sex’ law protects rape survivors’ rights

Last week’s Constitutional Court ruling decriminalising consensual sexual relationships between teens was met with moralising outrage across the country. Sensationalist media fanned the flames of indignation by failing to contextualise the law’s effect on teen sexual relations – including rape.

Under the impugned sections 15 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act (SOA) teenage rape survivors, especially girls, run the risk of being criminally charged for being raped.

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The SAPS crime statistics – measuring what exactly?

It’s time for the Great Annual Bad Maths and Funny Logic Debate — you know, the one we have every year in which the SAPS tells us what a great job they’re doing combating crime and we all pick holes in their arguments in response. At one level there’s need of this, at another level…

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Teenage pregnancy a crime?

Ever heard of the “30cm rule”? This unwritten rule is popular in many co-ed high schools and it stipulates that a boy and a girl should not be closer than 30cm of each other. That means no hugging, kissing and gevoefeling while under the watchful eye of teachers. The students I teach have also been…

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Don’t kiss me, I’m 16

The recent fiasco with the Sexual Offences Act should serve as an alert about continuing problems dating from before the act’s adoption in 2007 and that have still not received parliament’s attention. The Western Cape High Court in May upheld a finding that meant the courts could not pass sentences for 29 crimes for which…

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Secondary victimisation: Rape survivors denied emergency ARVs

The 2007 Sexual Offences Act (SOA) requires that certain services be made available to rape survivors. Among these services, survivors of oral, anal and vaginal rape are entitled to receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), a 28-day course of antiretrovirals for the prevention of HIV infection. This must be provided to survivors – at state expense – when…

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Criminalising adolescent sexuality — murky waters

I went to a thrilling dialogue at the Commission for Gender Equality last week. The topic was the ages of consent for sex, in terms of our legislation, and the complications that the current legislation has. At the moment the law (the Sexual Offences Act) says that if you’re 16 years and older you can…

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