Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Volume 13, Issue 1, 2012
Volume 13, Issue 1, 2012
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 13, pp 1 –10 (2012)More Less
Knowledge of legislation pertaining to sexual abuse is imperative for health care professionals working with the child who has been sexually abused. This article will provide a critical analysis of those aspects of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 32 of 2007, relevant to the health care professional. The shortcomings of the Act and the practical implication of these for healthcare professionals will be highlighted. Focus is also placed on the relevant sections of the Childcare Act, 38 of 2005 and how these sections complement the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 32 of 2007.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 13, pp 11 –26 (2012)More Less
The article explores the cultural practice of ukuthwala and illustrates how it has digressed from a traditional practice to a merely criminal act. It draws a distinction between the pure customary practice of ukuthwala and its current distorted form and further examines how the practice results in the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. The article draws on the primary authors' experience in the criminal investigation of child trafficking cases and two actual case studies are discussed to highlight how the traditional form of ukuthwala has been distorted and become a criminal act. The traditional themes of the ukuthwala practice are highlighted in both case studies and an attempt is made by the authors to explore whether there are possible common dynamics between ukuthwala and child trafficking. An African theory of the causes of crime is applied in an attempt to explore the multitude of variables which contribute to this complex phenomenon. Finally, the article underscores the psychosocial impact of ukuthwala on child victims and the wider ripple effect on society as a whole and addresses societies seeming reluctance to become involved or challenge the harmful form of this practice. Recommendations for policy and further research are suggested.
Law and policy regulating the management of learner-on-learner sexual misconduct in South African public schoolsAuthor Susan CoetzeeSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 13, pp 27 –39 (2012)More Less
The aim of this article is to identify and critically evaluate current law, policy and public documents that regulate learner-on-learner sexual misconduct. It was concluded that there is no education-specific law and policy that regulate learner-on-learner sexual misconduct in particular. The prominent document that is available in this regard is the Guidelines for the prevention and management of sexual violence and harassment in public schools. Besides not being enforceable law, this document is also interspersed with obscurities and in several respects in conflict with other law, policy and public documents. The implementation thereof is therefore hindered and the effective management of learner sexual misconduct impeded. It is recommended that learner sexual misconduct be addressed in education-specific and enforceable law. This can be done by either inserting a section in the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 or by inserting a regulation in the Regulations for safety measures at public schools.
Treating complex post-traumatic stress disorder following childhood neglect, sexual abuse and revictimisation : interpretative reflections on the case of KhuselwaSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 13, pp 40 –54 (2012)More Less
This paper describes the psychological assessment and treatment process with Khuselwa, a South African adolescent survivor of multiple sexual traumas presenting with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The paper identifies some of the common barriers encountered by practitioners in delivering treatments in local contexts and highlights the role of external safety and stability and social support in providing a vehicle for change and a basis for overcoming the psychological handicaps reinforced by repeated and multiple traumas and chronic neglect.
The risks and benefits of participating in research on child abuse experiences : a preliminary exploration in a non-clinical South African sampleSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 13, pp 55 –61 (2012)More Less
Objectives : This study examined the risks and benefits of participating in child abuse research in a sample of 323 South African university students.
Methods : Respondents for the study were recruited through notices placed on a university intra-web. During Phase 1 of the research (n = 323), data were collected using a structured questionnaire which surveyed child abuse experiences, assessed respondents' traumatic status, and evaluated participants' reactions to research participation. Phase 2 of the research, involved a 2-week follow-up of 119 respondents from Phase 1, and was designed to assess the short-term effects of Phase 1 participation.
Results : Research participation was well tolerated by respondents with the majority of respondents reporting: satisfaction with their participation (65%), personal benefit as a result of participating (56%), and positive risk-benefit ratios (67%). Findings regarding research-induced distress suggest that a sizable proportion of respondents (31%) experienced their participation as distressing, with 13% of respondents reporting persistent distress at 2-week follow-up. Research findings provided no evidence that respondents had been re-traumatized by their participation.
Conclusions : Study findings suggest that participation in child abuse research is experienced as distressing by a sizable proportion of respondents. As such, child abuse survivors would appear to constitute a particularly vulnerable group with respect to research-induced distress, with such survivors warranting special attention in the design and ethical approval of research protocols.
Human trafficking and the exploitation of women and children in a Southern and South African contextAuthor D.N. SwartSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 13, pp 62 –73 (2012)More Less
Human trafficking in South Africa is a serious problem which needs intervention on all fronts. This article seeks to extend the understanding of the different forms of exploitation which women and children are exposed to in the trafficking chain.
The results of the research clearly indicate that South Africa is a source, transit and destination country for trafficked women and children. The study identified a number of trafficking flows in the intercontinental trafficking of women and children to and from South Africa from the rest of the Continent of Africa, as well as domestic trafficking. Trafficking of South Africans out of South Africa was found to be less problematic and only a few cases were reported.
The research confirmed that, as it occurs in most countries, women are mainly the victims of human trafficking in South Africa, with the main purpose of sexual exploitation. Young girls are also trafficked for sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked into domestic servitude, forced labour or debt bondage. These women are also used in criminal activities like drug smuggling, begging, trafficking for the removal of body parts (or muti) and for sacrifice in rituals.
Author Johan PrinslooSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 13, pp 74 –86 (2012)More Less
As a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), recognising child's welfare as its main priority, children as a vulnerable group should be protected against the negative effects of the criminal justice system and the trauma associated with giving testimony as well as secondary victimisation. In South Africa, the constitutional Court concluded that the guiding principle in this regard, namely "the best interest of the child" principle, is for all intended purposes a matter of statutory interpretation. However, developments in the international arena, especially the United Nations Resolution 2005/20: Guidelines on matters involving child victims and witnesses of crime as well as the Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on child-friendly justice (2011) are clear indications that the area of justice for child victims and witnesses have not yet been adequately developed and that it has many shortcomings. These guidelines serve as good practice principles and are the product of consensus reflected in contemporary knowledge and relevant international and regional norms, standards and principles with the objective to assist in the review of national laws, procedures and practices of member states with a view to ensuring full respect for the rights of child victims and witnesses of crime and to furthering the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) by the parties to that Convention. These guidelines are, therefore, very important for the purpose of South African law, procedures and practices which are to be reviewed against the background of these guiding principles.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 13, pp 87 –97 (2012)More Less
Rates of violence in South Africa are disturbingly high, constituting one of the most significant public mental health challenges in South Africa. Township (high) schools are especially prone to violence due to several factors, thereby influencing the learners' experience thereof. This article, based on a specific case study, focuses on exploring adolescent learners' unique experiences of school violence in a township high school, which may assist in understanding the phenomenon, and informing school prevention and/or intervention programmes/strategies for this and similar contexts. Conclusions drawn from the study are that school violence is a multifaceted phenomenon with unique contextual characteristics and, based on these findings, it is recommended that a holistic and an integrated approach be taken when dealing with violence in these and similar schools.