It’s hard to comprehend that an increasing number of rape survivors are boys under the age of 10. Yet the ordeal these youngsters have been through was top of mind for RamsayMedia staff when they put together comfort bags for Matla a Bana: A Voice against Child Abuse, for Mandela Day.
The NGO asked the media house to focus on this group when they bag facecloths, toothpaste and brushes, pencils and notebooks, juice, biscuits, underwear, balls – and teddy bears; some of the items intended to provide comfort to the young recipients as they go through the bewildering process of reporting the rape.
“The requests that we are getting from the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units show that the rape of young boys is becoming more of a problem every year,” commented Monique Strydom, national manager of Matla a Bana. “In one area the number is as high as 40%. What is even more shocking is that the average age of the perpetrator is coming down – at one of the units it is 12 years old, which is frightening!”
It is the third year RamsayMedia has adopted Matla a Bana for its Mandela Day initiative. Teams at the Cape Town and Sandton offices spent their ’67 minutes for Mandela Day’ assembling 275 packs for boys aged 4 – 8 and 9 – 12, which were handed over to Matla a Bana and SAPS representatives on Friday, 13 July.
The packs are a real comfort to the children and make it easier for them to open up to police about what they had gone through, said Strydom.
The staff raised almost R4 000 – an amount matched by the company – to buy the items for the comfort packs. The underwear was once again donated by Easywear, which has supported the initiative for the past three years.