Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Volume 5, Issue 1, 2004
Volume 5, Issue 1, 2004
On the practice of using "research" as a justification for downloading child pornography : editorialSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 5, pp 2 –4 (2004)More Less
In a number of recent high-profile cases the accused has attempted to justify the downloading of child pornography by maintaining that their actions constitute "legitimate research activity". Such attempts at justification raise two important questions:
- Should the downloading of child pornography be permitted for legitimate research purposes?; and
- What precisely is meant by the term 'legitimate research purposes' in the context of viewing child pornography?
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 5, pp 5 –18 (2004)More Less
In the present research seven out of ten respondents reported that learners were bullied every day (41.7%) or once or twice a week (29.5%). Most learners observed milder forms of bullying on a regular basis. The most common location for bullying reported by the sample as a whole was the playground (29.8% daily) with the main role players in incidents of bullying being a boy operating alone (60.1%) or groups of boys (60.2%). A substantial proportion of the sample (53.1%) indicated that they had been bullied during 2002, with more than 60% of bullying incidents (64.5%) being initiated by a male learner. With respect to how learners felt after an incident of bullying, more or less equal numbers reported being angry (50.8%) or sad and miserable (47.7%). A disturbing fact is that almost 10% of respondents actually stayed away from school once or twice (7.1%) or more than twice (4.5%) because of peer victimisation. The survey findings indicate that a significant proportion of victims had informed someone else about the incident, with this person normally being a parent (49.8%) or a friend (49.1%). More than half (55.1%) of the group indicated that a friend had rendered assistance in the aftermath of bullying. Nearly half (43.1%) the respondents believed that they were "as able" (27.9%) or "more able" (16.9%) than other learners to bully others if they wanted to. The three most common reasons learners cited for bullying others were to "show how tough they were" (63.0%), for "fun" (54.6%), and "to get even" (52.4%).
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 5, pp 19 –25 (2004)More Less
This study investigated how social understandings influence, and often obscure, individual perceptions. The aim of the research was to investigate the relationship between social myths and stereotypes and perceptions/interpretations of child sexual abuse in a sample of university students. Participants were presented with a picture designed to represent child sexual abuse and were asked to provide a written interpretation of the picture. Respondents also completed the 15-item Child Sexual Abuse Myth Scale. Consistent with findings from previous research, 29% of respondents did not identify child sexual abuse in the picture, with a failure to identify child sexual abuse being associated with significantly higher scores on the Denial of Abusiveness and Restrictive Stereotypes subscales of the Child Sexual Abuse Myth Scale. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for practice and for social policy.
Legal remedies available to an aggrieved parent : observations on the Parental Alienation Syndrome in custody and access litigationSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 5, pp 26 –33 (2004)More Less
The high divorce rate has led to a vast increase in child custody disputes. This article deals with what may be termed the "custody battle" and the impact it may have on the children. Protracted adversarial processes often intensify the hostility between the parents, leaving the children confused and hurt. All too often new disputes arise when the custodian parent frustrates the non-custodian parent's rights of access. There are legal measures to enforce custody rights, but these may not be easy to implement. Recent research has revealed that in the process children develop what has been termed a "Parental Alienation Syndrome". The children become alienated from the non-custodial parent, with this alienation being exacerbated if the custodial parent denigrates the non-custodial parent. The authors suggest that the situation might improve if we could adopt an inquisitorial system of justice. They also intimate that joint custody might induce parents to accept joint responsibility for the emotional welfare of the children. Lastly, therapists and lawyers should be made aware of the Parental Alienation Syndrome.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 5, pp 34 –35 (2004)More Less
In a file review of 1 818 cases of child sexual abuse reported to a provincial hospital in KwaZulu-Natal during the period 2001 to 2003, it was found that 97 cases of abuse (5.3%) involved solo sex rings. Sex ring activity was reported by 4% of girls (with there being no significant change in this percentage over the three year period) and by 23% of boys (with there being a significant increase in this percentage over the three year period). With respect to sex ring involvement, the modal age of victims was 6 to 11 years with the modal offender being a stranger or a person who was not well known to the child. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for intervention and for further research.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 5 (2004)More Less
The 6th Annual National Conference of the SA Professional Society on the Abuse of Children will be held in Pretoria 17 to19 May 2005. The objective of the Conference is to foster multidisciplinary expertise in handling child abuse and to increase professional skills and knowledge in the recognition, assessment and treatment of all forms of child maltreatment as well as to enhance investigative and legal skills in this area.