Sexual violence in prisons – Part 2: The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act (32 of 2007) – its implications for male rape in prisons and the Department of Correctional Services
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The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act (32 of 2007), referred to here as the Sexual Offences Act (SOA), established in law a gender-neutral definition of rape and this has important implications for male rape in South African prisons. In this article an analysis is presented of the SOA within the prison setting as well as the wider implications for the Department of Correctional Services. The different offences defined under the SOA are contextualised within the prison environment as this environment has implications for the detection and investigation of sexual offences committed there, as well as for the prosecution of perpetrators. Services to victims are also discussed as well as the Sex Offenders Register and the duties of the Department of Correctional Services in this regard. In order for the SOA to prevent and eradicate sexual victimisation in prisons, it will require a concerted effort by the Department of Correctional services to ensure that prisoners feel safe to report such instances and furthermore, to ensure that investigations are done thoroughly, promptly and with the necessary recognition and support for victims.