Figures from South Darfur on sexual violence against children in 2017 released this week paint a dismal picture, with four to six new cases reported to police in the state every day. Government sources acknowledge that the actual number might be far higher.
According to official statistics released in the South Darfur state capital of Nyala, there were 1,800 reports of sexual assaults on children in the 21 localities of South Darfur during 2017.
A government source said that 70 per cent of the complaints were filed by the newly established children's court in Nyala, set-up in response to an increase in cases. Other reports have been filed to the police and prosecution as a result of incomplete investigations.
An official source at the family and children's office said the rate of sexual assaults on children ranged from four to six cases a day.
He pointed out that in reality, the number might be far higher as many cases are not reported so do not fall within these statistics. “The social stigma means many such crimes are settled among families before reaching the police or judicial system, on the grounds of concern for the reputation of the victim.”