Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Volume 12, Issue 2, 2011
Volume 12, Issue 2, 2011
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 12, pp 1 –12 (2011)More Less
Art is developing as a specialisation - forensic art - which enlarges the traditional fields of evaluation and treatment. Therapeutic art is a form of psychotherapy which has its origins in various disciplines (including medicine, nursing, psychology, psychotherapy, social sciences, education and the arts) and which aims to permit the communication of matters which can normally not be expressed in words. Traumatic effects are often solved by means of visual, non-verbal narratives which are "translated" in a context of forensic therapy. Individual messages need to be interpreted in order to obtain insight and to understand the piece of art. In order to understand art, the metaverbal meaning of a piece of art must be expressed in words. Forensic art can be used as an alternative therapeutic technique to support and empower the victims of violent crime. It can be employed together with the existing crisis intervention and trauma counselling techniques, and can be of service both to the victim and to the criminal justice system. Officers of the law can use the art produced by victims as an aid in the legal process. In this way, they obtain deeper insight into the course of events during the criminal incident as well as during forensic investigations. They can use this insight to determine the psychological and emotional impact of the crime on the victim, since the cognitive content is indicative of the nature and severity of the crime. Forensic art integrates the practice of therapeutic art with forensic investigations, procedures and standards, and in this way becomes an aid to the resolution of legal disputes. Facts can be established, while information central to the investigative process is being gathered, by making use of their creative expression. The focus is on the collection of information, and also on distinguishing between the truth and falsity of this information by obtaining factual proofs. In the therapeutic context, the therapist provides support and intervention, usually at the conclusion of the investigative process. The establishment of thoughts and feelings is an integral part of the clinical process, while the forensic process is directed towards objectivity, facts and the quest for truth. Forensic practices are regulated by ethical and legal aspects which can be expanded to include the collection and preservation of data.
This article investigates the extent to which the art of children and young people can be applied in a forensic context. Case studies are used to focus on the potential and the forensic value to the criminal justice system of the art of young victims of crime. This applies particularly to the psychological impact of victimisation, in that these young victims are empowered when an effective means of communication is provided for their use.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 12, pp 13 –24 (2011)More Less
Zimbabwe has followed the South African initiative of introducing an intermediary into the court to assist child witnesses with testifying. However, it has made certain unique adaptations to the system by training interpreters to act as intermediaries and using infrastructures that already exist within the Department of Justice. As part of a Masters research, the intermediary system in Zimbabwe was investigated to determine its efficacy.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 12, pp 25 –35 (2011)More Less
In 2006, South Africans celebrated the twelfth anniversary of a democratic South Africa. A paradigm shift in education was a prerequisite and the government introduced an inclusive education system. Seeing that educator perception and attitudes are among the many influences on learners' achievement, this research will attempt to examine how educators view inclusion in the classroom, what problems educators experience and possible recommendations to address these problems. The data is based on focus-group interviews, observation and document analysis. The researcher selected a primary school as the research site. The six educators who were chosen, were grade 5 subject teachers. The main themes identified in the interviews included perceptions about availability of resources, school support, parental support and departmental support. Some of the educator perceptions related to training, support, resources, understanding and an inflexible curriculum. The conclusion reached, is that inclusive education is here to stay, so the Department of Education and all other stakeholders should cooperate to make it work. The researcher believes that if educators' beliefs about and their perceptions of inclusion were not addressed, these perceptions could become a critical barrier to learning, development and successful implementation of inclusive education. This could culminate in a classroom culture of neglect of learners with barriers to learning.
The affect of prenatal methamphetamine (tik) abuse on children's early childhood behaviour : an explorative study in Mitchells PlainAuthor Benjamin HaefeleSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 12, pp 36 –44 (2011)More Less
This explorative study sought to understand the affect of maternal Methamphetamine abuse on children's early childhood behaviour. Questionnaires and interviews were administered with teachers, a grandmother whose daughter used Methamphetamine during pregnancy and a dentist to determine the impact of maternal Methamphetamine use on children's cognitive development and functioning at school. There are clear indications that maternal Methamphetamine use is a growing problem in the Western Cape. Furthermore, Methamphetamine exposed children might look "perfectly normal at birth", they show certain physical characteristics like small body size, small eye openings, yellowish facial colour and a blank stare in the eye. Personality and cognitive abilities include hyperactivity, an inclination to temper tantrums, poor reasoning skills, limited motivation and delayed physical, academic and social development. The study also revealed unstable family backgrounds with the prevalence of unemployment, substance abuse, crime (theft to feed the habit), single parents and poverty amongst Methamphetamine exposed children. Finally, the study recommends physical and academic interventions for teachers in the class situation to deal with Methamphetamine exposed children.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 12, pp 45 –65 (2011)More Less
The crime of human trafficking has recently received extensive global and local attention. However, owing to the complex and multifaceted nature of this crime, a clear, uniform understanding of this phenomenon remains a challenge. Although some references are made to the South African context, this article explores definitional and related issues pertaining to this phenomenon primarily from an international perspective in order to enhance the understanding of human trafficking.
Interpretations of well-being in youth headed households in rural South Africa : a grounded theory studySource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 12, pp 66 –76 (2011)More Less
The health and well-being of orphaned children is a major concern internationally. In South Africa, a significant proportion of the approximately 2 million orphans live in child/youth headed households where older children act as parents. Any meaningful response to this situation would require interpretations of well-being that are authentic, holistic and contextualized to be the basis of family and community care. Based on an ethnographic study involving two families of 16 orphaned children in a rural area of North West province in South Africa, interpretations of well-being are presented. Data about family life, beliefs, ideals, relations and interactions with formal and informal structures in the community was analysed by means of grounded theory methods. The purpose was to develop an original and contextualised representation of well-being of orphaned families. Findings from the analyses point to interpretations of well-being that take into account family composition, poverty conditions, and the need of orphaned families to stay hopeful. A strong preference for not wanting to be separated through foster care placements or allocation of a caregiver has been identified. Conditions for the attainment of well-being are also clarified in terms of access to support for basic needs, education, availability of social networks for support, and the possibilities for dependable and reliable relationships with other people.
Author Marelize SchoemanSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 12, pp 77 –86 (2011)More Less
Worldwide, law grants children special legal status to ensure their rights and protection. The complexity surrounding the prosecution of criminal cases involving pregnant females and mothers with young children remain controversial and become even more complicated and sensitive when pregnant women or mothers are incarcerated. It is argued that in this instance legal and policy frameworks contributes to the attrition of children of incarcerated mothers' rights. This article aims to analyse the policies and practices regulating the institutional care of children who stay with their incarcerated mothers. Apart from the legislative framework the article also examines the human rights implications of policies and practices regulating the institutional care of female offenders and their children.
Author Rienie VenterSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 12, pp 87 –97 (2011)More Less
More than 230 boys have died in failed circumcisions in the Eastern Cape in the past four years. In addition, more than 150 boys had to have their penises amputated since 2006 (Sidimba 2011:14; Pretoria News 2011:2). The purpose of this article is to evaluate whether the custom infringes upon these boys' human rights as guaranteed by the South African Constitution and other human rights instruments. The question asked is why attempts to regulate initiation practices do not address the problem of safety of children adequately.
In this article children's rights are explained from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child and the South African Constitution. In order to substantiate the literature study, a survey in the form of a questionnaire was done to establish the attitudes of Xhosa women. To get in-depth information from persons who had personal contact with initiates, interviews were conducted with two selected people in helping professions.
Although there was agreement that traditional initiation is a prerequisite for becoming a man, a large percentage of the participants indicated in the questionnaire that they preferred hospitalisation for circumcision. When evaluated from a children's rights perspective, the initiation rite was found to fall short in all three dimensions that were discussed, namely the obligations of the State, parents and the guardians at initiation sites.
It was found that the mere inclusion of children's rights in the Constitution does not, in reality, guarantee the safeguarding of children's interests. It is recommended that, rather than taking a confrontational approach which may lead to estrangement between the law and traditional customs, a process of negotiation should be followed to address this problem.