As South Africa marks a year into the lockdown, civil society organisations have warned about an increase in the number of minors who have been sexually violated by close relatives.

This as a family wants justice after their 11-year-old girl was raped on two different occasions, allegedly by her cousins in Praktiseer in Limpopo.

The family says the suspect in the first incident was released on bail and, has not observed his bail conditions to relocate from the village.

The second suspect has been denied bail. The girl’s father says the girl lives in fear as the rapes happened at her home and in her grandmother’s home.

“You know children are not allowed to go out of the yard, I have to get everything, food, TV and toys because when somebody can just come to our yard and rape our daughter it means we are not taking good care of our daughters. And now I don’t trust anyone even family members because the very same family member came and raped our daughter when he knew she had been raped by another family member.”

Founder of non-governmental organisation, Tears, Mara Glennie says with the lockdown due to COVID-19, there has been an increase in minors who are exposed to sexual violence.

She has advised families of minors who are victims of sexual offences to seek counselling for them.

“That poor child will never be trusting of someone again because to be repeatedly raped by people she values is the worst kind of betrayal there can ever be. One of the very important aspects, when you have been helped, is that you need to get counselling. Our number is *134*7355#. It’s a free call, call us now, we will help you.”