The Teddy Bear Foundation has accused South Africa’s judiciary of perpetuating sexual crimes by letting criminals easily off the hook.
This week two judges reduced the life sentence of a man to 20 years in prison. The man forced his six-year-old stepdaughter to re-enact pornographic movie scenes with him.
According to the judges, the stepdad only forced the girl to have oral sex with him and this does not constitute a severe rape case.
The decision has angered organisations against child abuse who say the criminal justice system does not favour sexual abuse victims.
The foundation's Shaheda Omar says they will be appealing the sentence.
“We feel like we need to mobilise action to ensure these things do not fall through the cracks. The systems are failing our children. This child will grow up with more trauma as the judiciary has failed her.”
She adds: “Rape is rape and trauma is trauma. You cannot put a measurement to say this is less severe or that is more severe.”