Strengthening Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Case Management and Linkage to Care Programming in 3 sites in South Africa

The Implementation Science team at Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute (Wits RHI) received funding through CDC-PEPFAR to engage and collaborate with schools, communities, and health care clinics across 4 sites in South Africa (Ekurhuleni, uMgungundlovu and Khayelitsha) to strengthen the prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA) as well as improve linkages to care, reporting and management of CSA. Bavikele is a Zulu phrase which mean ‘protect them’. The project runs from May 2017 to the end of September 2020.

The Bavikele project is a multi-levelled approach to influence policy and practice while contributing to the evidence base on CSA. The intervention builds further on Wits RHI’s existing PEPFAR-funded technical assistance service delivery platforms (PAVING and AVIWE) as well as GAP Year (BMGF funded) which are working in the fields of progressing HIV and SRHR programming for AGYW and preventing GBV. The scope of the activities are multi-sectoral, across various levels, including collaboration with the Departments of Health (DoH), Basic Education (DBE), and Social Development (DSD) as well as post-violence care facilities, parents, teachers and adolescents themselves. Our work aims to capacitate these stakeholders with strategies for prevention, information on identification of possible CSA and training for treatment of CSA and collaborates closely with local partners, currently with a footprint in our selected sites.

Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) work has mainly been performing most of its work in the Ekurhuleni district. CSA has been extensively supported by the District DoH by providing Community Activists with additional knowledge on the identification, reporting and linkage to care of victims of sexual abuse. The programme adapted the SASA! intervention and materials for local use, and in the final year began training other implementing partners to deliver the package. A major highlight of the project is that the capacity building focus of the intervention saw over 700 people trained on various CSA clinical and other technical areas over the duration of the intervention. Lessons learnt and best practices have been documented for sharing with stakeholders.

Study population and sites

Collaborate with learners, schools, communities (including parents), and health care clinics across 3 sites in South Africa
(Ekurhuleni, uMgungundlovu and Khayelitsha)


Strengthen case referral and linkage to post violence care in selected communities

Capacitate healthcare, parents and school staff to address prevention, referral and management of child sexual abuse

Develop and distribute IEC materials and job aids e.g. DBE, Child Sexual Abuse Booklets Capacitate adolescent learners and community activists at selected sites with basic self-defence techniques

Principal Investigators

Dr. Saiqa Mullick, Vusile Butler, Alison Kutywayo

Latest Update: 1 September 2020

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