What is the Child Protection Unit?
The Child Protection Unit, also known as the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit, is a specialised unit within the South African Police force that focuses on crimes involving children.
Specifically, their mandate is to investigate and assist in cases of sexual assault against children. The unit plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and protection of children who have been victims of abuse.
What types of cases does the FCS/Child Protection Unit take on?
The FCS/Child Protection Unit handles various types of cases related to child protection. This includes crimes such as sexual offences committed against children, which involve physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
They also deal with cases where family members are involved in perpetrating crimes against children. Additionally, the unit addresses cases of illegal removal of children under the age of 12 and crimes facilitated through electronic media, such as exposing children to pornography through electronic devices.
Is it illegal to watch Pornography as an Adult?
According to the FCS Unit, watching pornography itself is not against the law. Many adults engage in watching pornography as a form of adult entertainment. However, it becomes illegal when minors are exposed to pornography or forced to watch it.
It is important to differentiate between consensual adult consumption of pornography and any form of child exploitation or involvement in sexual activities depicted in pornography.
A child is being sexually abused, what do I do?
If you are aware or suspect that a child may be a victim of sexual abuse, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect the child. Contact your nearest police station and report the situation. Provide as much detail as possible, including the names of the individuals involved, and provide any evidence or information that can support the case.
Write an affidavit documenting your observations and concerns. The police will then refer the case to the Child Protection Unit for further investigation and intervention.
I’ve laid the claim, now what?
After reporting the case to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Child Protection Unit, it is important to allow the investigative process to take place. The duration of investigations can vary depending on the complexity of the case, the number of individuals involved, and the availability of evidence.
Investigations can range from 72 hours to several months. In cases where multiple minors are involved, additional time may be required to assess and interview each child and their parents or guardians.
What happens if I put forward a complaint and then don’t comply?
Once you have filed a criminal complaint with SAPS, it is crucial to cooperate fully with the investigation. Failing to cooperate may raise doubts about the credibility of the complaint and can hinder the progress of the case.
It is essential to provide any requested information, attend interviews or court proceedings, and assist the authorities to the best of your ability. Remember, your commitment to ensuring the safety of the children involved is paramount.
What are the consequences of filing a false report with the Police?
Filing a false police report is a serious offence and can lead to criminal charges. It is considered a crime against justice itself. The specific legal consequences can vary depending on the jurisdiction, but generally, filing a false report is considered a misdemeanour or a felony. It is important to understand the gravity of making false allegations and the potential legal ramifications involved.
What happens if someone falsely accuses me?
If you have been falsely accused of a crime, you have the right to protect yourself by obtaining a protection order. You can approach your nearest Magistrate Court and apply for a protection order specifically in the Domestic Violence section of the court. This allows you to legally protect yourself from any harassment, threats, or harm resulting from false accusations or malicious intent.
Can I get a protection order for a Child?
Yes, any parent, guardian, or concerned adult can seek a protection order on behalf of a child. A protection order aims to provide legal protection and ensure the safety and well-being of a child in situations where they may be at risk of harm or abuse. It is an important legal measure to safeguard the rights and interests of children in vulnerable situations.
Can I get a protection order for myself?
If you have been falsely accused of a crime, you can obtain a protection order for yourself. Approach your nearest Magistrate Court and apply for a protection order in the Domestic Violence section of the court.
Where is the Child Protection Unit in Johannesburg?
In Johannesburg, if you need to report a child-related crime, seek assistance, or provide information related to child protection, you can approach the FCS Johannesburg (Child Protection Unit). They are located in the Roodepoort area near the Roodepoort Magistrate Court.
Where is the Child Protection Unit in Pretoria?
In Pretoria, if you need to report a child-related crime, seek assistance, or provide information related to child protection, you can approach the FCS Pretoria. They are located in Burger Street, Pretoria North.
For more information or assistance, please contact the following:
- Sandton Police Station
- Linden Police Station
- Randburg Police Station
- Douglasdale Police Station
- Department of Social Development (Social Workers)
- FCS (Social Workers)
If you want to deepen your understanding of abuse, learn how to identify and manage it, as well as the necessary steps to take, consider signing up for our comprehensive training programme. Our training equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to address child protection issues effectively.
PLEASE NOTE WE ARE NOT ATTORNEYS. WE ARE SPEAKING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND STRONGLY ADVISE YOU TO SEEK LEGAL ADVICE