Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Volume 7, Issue 1, 2006
Volume 7, Issue 1, 2006
Author Retha MeintjesSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 1 –3 (2006)More Less
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 4 –13 (2006)More Less
Police statistics attest to the fact that child abuse is increasing in South Africa. There are a number of progressive legal policies that have been developed to protect the rights of children. Despite this legislative framework, however, it seems that children's rights are being violated on a daily basis and that police are not equipped to deal with the problem effectively. Since justice is not always seen to be done, the investigative process sometimes has the effect of silencing the child rape victim and this leads to secondary abuse. The aim of this study was to determine how effective the police are in dealing with child rape victims. A qualitative research approach was followed where parents/caregivers (mainly black and working class), social workers and police officials were interviewed to determine how effectively the police dealt with child rape cases. The findings revealed that in certain areas the police have improved the manner in which they deal with child rape cases since the research done previously by the Human Rights Commission (2002). Nevertheless, there are still major problems in how these cases are investigated by the police and how victims are supported in the investigation process. Recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the police are made in this study.
The relevance of family structure to the victim-perpetrator relationship in child sexual abuse in South AfricaSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 14 –23 (2006)More Less
This article documents a section of the methodology and the results of a project undertaken by the paediatric department at the Addington Provincial Hospital (Durban), in the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. The project developed a database of 5 561 child abuse records of alternate year intervals between 1977 and 1995. Although judged as 'old' data, the lessons learnt from this database are unique and provide valuable insights into the way in which child sexual abuse has been dealt with in South Africa. A data-capturing card was developed and regularly updated by the social workers in this hospital. This data card included the recording of a diverse range of variables and sub-variables by the multidisciplinary teams involved in the project. This included biographical data of the victims and perpetrators involved in various types of abuse, not necessarily available in datasets post 1995. Extensive quantitative analysis of this database has been done, but for the purposes of this article, we will report only on selected variables from the overall study, aiming to address the issue of the victim-perpetrator relationship in the sexual abuse of girls. It was determined that there are significant factors, such as age and race, to be taken into account when exploring and intervening in the relationship between the victim and perpetrator where the sexual abuse of girls is concerned, but most importantly, significant information emerged on the relevance of family structure.
Reflections of a psycho-educational intern at a child protection unit : the processes and impact of engagementSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 24 –30 (2006)More Less
Psycho-educational training programmes in South Africa currently aim to ensure that both the individual and community are benefited by trainees who graduate from these programmes. In addition, educational psychologists serving internships require training in community-oriented forms of practice. To achieve this aim, the University of Stellenbosch's Unit for Educational Psychology (UEP) follows an ecosystemic approach whereby interns perform community service at several centres in the Western Cape as part of their training programme. This article draws on the experiences of an intern at a Child Protection Unit (CPU) and the assistance given to the latter from the initial introduction to clients to the termination of therapy by the supervising psychologist. The article explores the functioning of a community-based unit such as a CPU and describes what is required of a psycho-educational intern by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) when working within a community context. The challenges which the intern confronted at the CPU are also indicated. Finally, conclusions and recommendations are drawn from these findings, which may prove useful to other emerging professionals working in similar community contexts.
Author J.J. NeserSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 31 –47 (2006)More Less
The data presented in this article originated from a school safety research project which was aimed at the victim in school violence. The study was exploratory and the situation of the victims was investigated using the following general questions: What is the nature and extent of violence at school?, How do learners experience school violence?, Who is responsible for the victimisation?, and, What impact has the experience of certain incidents of school violence had on the victims? A quantitative-descriptive survey design was selected for this study. About 40% of the sample of victims revealed that they had been exposed to violence frequently [every day (11.2%) and once or twice a week (28.1%)]. The survey showed that most of the victims were subjected to verbal aggression such as cruel teasing (54.3%), bad name calling (62.5%) and threats of harm (33.8%). Of the respondents, 43.4% reported victimisation in the form of physical aggression (hitting, kicking and pushing). Considerably fewer (27.1%) incidents of relational aggression in the form of social exclusion were experienced. The perpetrator was more often than not reported as being from the same class as the victim. This trend was confirmed by 47.5% of the victims. The aggressor was categorised by more than one-third (37.6%) of the victimised learners as being in the same grade, but in a different class. In nearly half (48.3%) of the incidents, the learner responsible for the aggressive behaviour was from a higher grade. The victimised learners reported that more than 60% of aggressive incidents were initiated by a male learner (64.5%), followed by a group of boys (34.8%), and by a girl (24.9%). In response to the question of how the victims generally felt about themselves after the school violence incident, more than a third (34.8%) of the sample said that they were not really bothered by the acts of aggression. More or less equal numbers reported being angry (50.8%) or sad and miserable (47.7%). A disturbing fact is that more than 10% of the respondents actually stayed away from school once or twice (7.0%) and more than twice (4.6%) because of peer victimisation.