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MBABANE – Rape is on the rise and children aged 17 years and below are the most affected.

Figures released by the police and tabled in parliament, present an alarming picture of an increasingly violent society, particularly gainst women and children. The figures show that in the past three months, 124 rape cases were reported to the police.

This is an increase of 11.7 per cent when compared to the same period from April to June last year as 111 cases were reported. The report, which was tabled by the acting Prime Minister, Paul Dlamini, stated that the increase in the rape cases was attributed to the public educational campaigns which were aimed at changing the mindset and culture of concealing or sweeping matters under the carpet also known as ‘Tibi tendlu’.

It should be noted that out of these cases, 51.6 per cent of the rape cases were committed against children aged 17 years and below. There were also 10 cases of attempted rape reported. The police said violence against vulnerable groups, in particular women and children, still posed a serious safety and security concern which brought social disorder, lifelong trauma, disintegration of the family unit and in some instances the loss of life.

The police reported that there were 45 cases of statutory rape and 41 cases of indecent assault. The report further stated that two people were sodomised while three women were found to have illegally committed abortion. 

The police said on the analysis of domestic violence cases this showed a percentage increase of 12.9 per cent as there were 639 cases reported.  The police said murder, armed robbery and general muggings had declined by 23 per cent and five per cent respectively. While drug cases increased by 32 per cent to 656 from last year’s 498.  There were 11 crimes of passion reported between January and June 2015.

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