Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Volume 6, Issue 2, 2005
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2005
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 6, pp 1 –2 (2005)More Less
The world is not at peace - newspaper reports on a recurrent basis speak of international warfare, civil unrest and internecine conflict in many countries in Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East and Africa. When one considers the various wars and the concomitant human rights atrocities and abuses that characterise most of these activities, one is quick to identify women, children and the elderly as being especially vulnerable victims, females as victims of sexual violence, and refugees and people being displaced as deserving of special aid and assistance. However, one rarely, in this collage of crimes, pays notice to one of the worst human rights abuses of some wars - the recruitment and deployment of child soldiers. Yet, the use of child soldiers is a fact and constitutes an abuse of a myriad of the most fundamental rights - the rights to life; safety, protection and security; health; education and general well-being - all of which have been repeatedly acknowledged as deserving of the utmost protection. Most child soldiers suffer all kinds of physical and psychological abuses, with girl soldiers being especially vulnerable to the additional humiliation of sexual violations. Nonetheless, they remain very often the silent victims of the war.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 6, pp 3 –18 (2005)More Less
This article is based on empirical research of 96 dockets from 10 police stations in South Africa and describes the adjudication of child victims of rape and indecent assault in Gauteng province. It examines the most probable course of events, from the time the rape or indecent assault is reported to the police and the police consider criminal proceedings, to the detention and arrest of a suspect, followed by the charge, bail, prosecution and sentence. The article highlights the evidence and testimony of these children. Attention is also given to the legal processes internationally and the situation in South Africa. The empirical research was conducted in predominantly black residential areas and information was gathered through quantitative and qualitative data capturing techniques. In this study, it was found that the police do not properly investigate sexual crimes against children and that more than half of the cases of rape and indecent assault reported to the police were withdrawn. The study also indicated that more child rape cases were withdrawn than indecent assault cases.
Author Anet E. LouwSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 6, pp 19 –28 (2005)More Less
In hierdie oorsig-artikel word op die taalvaardigheid van kinders ten opsigte van hulle bevoegdheid as getuies gefokus. Taalvaardigheid wat spesifiek in die forensiese konteks van belang is, asook die ontwikkelingsverloop hiervan, word bespreek; naamlik woordeskat, linguistiese kompleksiteit, inhoud, pragmatiese vaardighede en begripsmonitering. Uit die bespreking word dit duidelik dat die kind se bevoedgheid om effektief in die forensiese konteks te kommunikeer, nie 'n funksie van die kind alleen is nie, maar ook beïnvloed word deur die vaardighede van die onderhoudvoerder. Laasgenoemde moet oor 'n grondige kennisbasis van die kind se vlak van taalontwikkeling beskik om sodoende optimale inligting te kan bekom.
In this overview article the focus is on the language skills of children, specifically pertaining to their competency as witnesses. Language skills of specific importance in the forensic context, as well as the developmental course thereof, are discussed, i.e. vocabulary, linguistic complexity, content, pragmatic skills, and comprehension monitoring. From the discussion it is clear that the child's competency to communicate effectively in the forensic context, is not only a function of the child alone, but also depends on the skills of the interviewer. The interviewer must have a grounded knowledge base of the child's level of language development to be able to obtain optimal information.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 6, pp 29 –35 (2005)More Less
This article draws attention to the very real problem of children who are often the silent victims of domestic violence. The discussion is multi-focused, covering the social, psychological, and emotional ramifications, and the effects on children living in a home and witnessing domestic abuse. The article raises the controversial question of whether witnessing adult violence is a predisposing factor to becoming a victim or perpetrator of domestic abuse oneself, and in this regard, the author draws from the research and writings of various scholars in the field. The article finally concludes with a definite appeal for greater awareness on the issues to be raised amongst South African professionals specifically, and communities generally.
Children who witness adult domestic violence : part 2 - the law, legal protection and the role of social development and child welfare agentsSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 6, pp 36 –43 (2005)More Less
This article examines the current legislation, specifically the Child Care Act, 1983 and the Domestic Violence Act, 1998 and compares them with the legislation and practice in the United States. In considering legal solutions, the article also discusses of the role of child welfare and social development agencies in providing effective protection for children who are witnesses to domestic abuse. The article concludes with some best practice recommendations and cautions about possible pitfalls of which the law and social development should be cognizant.
Author J. DuvallSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 6, pp 44 –47 (2005)More Less
Sexual abuse of anyone is horrific. The trauma of victims and their families never ends and the younger the victim, the longer the suffering. Complicate the situation with a child that has a communication problem such as deafness and you will usually have a sex offender who escapes justice in spite of fact the child may have identified him/her. This creates more of an emotional problem for the child and its family and gives the deaf community the idea that justice is not for all.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 6, pp 48 –55 (2005)More Less
In this article the discussion concentrates on children who fall into conflict with the law in South Africa. Emphasis on this category of offender gained momentum in 1995 after former President Nelson Mandela expressed concerns about the incarceration of young children. Focus is placed on reasons why children fall into conflict with the law, the number of children under detention and how children are dealt with in terms of the South African criminal justice system. In an attempt to keep children out of institutional settings, and in particular prisons, the criminal justice system created an additional layer of institutions to place children in detention. The involvement of private role players in criminal justice (and particularly regarding detention of children awaiting trial) is also investigated. As far as the latter is concerned, reference is made to the Bosasa/Dyambu Place of Safety in the Gauteng province.
Forensiese sielkundige verslagskrywing in sake van betwiste toesig en beheer oor minderjarige kindersSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 6, pp 56 –72 (2005)More Less
In hierdie artikel word beginsels onderliggend aan sielkundige verslagskrywing gekonvergeer met die juridiese elemente van deskundige getuienislewering. Praktiese riglyne word voorgestel ten aansien van effektiewe analisering, sintesering en integrasie van verskillende databronne en die voorbereiding van die sielkundige verslag as 'n hofprosesstuk. Besondere aandag word gegee aan tegniese aspekte en stilistiese vereistes, die bevoegdheid om as deskundige oor 'n betrokke onderwerp te getuig, gronde vir die sielkundige opinie, relevante hofreëls as formele vereistes, en eerbiediging van die relevantheidsvereiste en verbindingselemente in rapportering van sielkundige data. In geheel word die sielkundige verslag beskou as 'n vorm van getuienis tot die oplossing van 'n feitegeskil. Daar word aanbeveel dat die Etiese Gedragskode vir Sielkundiges (APA 2002) die verslagskrywer behoort te lei, veral ten aansien van spesifieke vereistes rakende forensiese dienslewering.
Author S. LotterSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 6, pp 73 –78 (2005)More Less
This article deals with the protection of children against screen violence. The dilemma of the regulator to balance the right of freedom of expression and the rights of children is highlighted. As the infringement of fundamental rights can be tolerated if the infringement is a reasonable means of combating harm, the question is asked whether screen violence is harmful to children. The regulation of television content is further examined and the conclusion reached that proper safeguards are in place to protect children. However, the success of these safeguards is often dependent on the involvement of parents. As parents are not always present when children are watching television, it is argued that children should be empowered to become responsible viewers.