n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - 'Father to sue education department over rape' - civil remedies for sexual violence and harassment in public schools

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



In the light of the matter reported by Samodien (2012) where a father intends to sue the Department of Education for damages incurred by his child who was raped at school, this article focuses on the duty of educators and schools to take measures to prevent and deal with sexual harassment and violence in schools. Sexual harassment and violence is conceptualised by drawing from definitions of sexual harassment and violence as well as those pertaining to sexual offenses. The duties of schools, school governing bodies, school principals and educators are outlined within the parameters of the Bill of Rights, education-specific legislation and policy as well as common law. The possibility of civil remedies for victims who have been subjected to sexual harassment and violence at school is investigated. Five requirements for delictual liability (damage, an act, unlawfulness, fault and causation) are used to demonstrate how the criteria for awarding damages may be met when learners approach the courts for civil remedies.

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