Woman or child raped every 26 seconds in South Africa, says UN

Recommendations are set to be published in June

UN report, South Africa, rape, sexual crimes, women, children

An aerial view of Cape Town, South Africa | Image: UN Photo/Milton Grant

It is estimated that a woman or girl is raped every 26 seconds in South Africa - and violence against women is an "almost accepted social phenomenon", according to the United Nations.

Dubravka Simonovic, the UN's Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, will publish recommendations in June following her investigation - but in the meantime children such as 'Ruth' continue to suffer.

She is a 10-year-old girl raped in her family's shack who has told her distressing story.

She described to Sky News how she was raped in the toilet of her parents' shack in the settlement of Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg.

Her mother then broke down in tears as she told how her daughter had suffered since.

"Even now it's painful," said mum Grace.

"I brought her here to learn because there are no parents at home. She was good in school but now she's not right. She's confused".

"She said, 'At school they are laughing at me, they said to me I'm raped'".

They also spoke to a man who raped his own niece.

The man was not reported and still lives a few shacks from the six-year-old's mother - a story that seems to confirm the veracity of the UN findings.

The Diepsloot Civil Society Group says that rape is often considered "a family matter" in the settlement. They are campaigning for greater awareness.