Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Volume 7, Issue 2, 2006
Volume 7, Issue 2, 2006
An examination of the linkages between parental substance abuse and child abuse : focus on familial substance abuseSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 1 –7 (2006)More Less
While much has been written on the topic of child abuse in South Africa, little evidence exists regarding the relationship between parental drug abuse and child abuse. In 1990 Potter-Effron and Potter-Effron examined the relationship between drug abuse and child abuse and identified a definite correlation between the two. There is also evidence to suggest that family members may have more to fear from each other than from total strangers. When a family has a drug dependent member, or members, the chances of interfamilial violence may increase. This article examines the drug / child abuse link and the effect of parental substance abuse on family dynamics. Drug abuse may influence a parent's cognitive abilities and emotions and contribute towards the parent abusing the child. The unique nature and structure of a family with a drug using parent makes it possible for child abuse to take place.
Familial substance abuse and child maltreatment : the need for a contextually relevant and systematic exploration of the problem in the South African context : focus on familial substance abuseSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 8 –11 (2006)More Less
Ovens (this issue) reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on the relationship between parental substance abuse and child maltreatment and concludes that further research on the topic is strongly indicated and that such research could usefully be extended to include prenatal abuse by mothers who abuse psychoactive substances during pregnancy. However, in this paper it is argued that if we are to ensure that such research extends our understanding of the problem in a way that is likely to have relevance to the contemporary South African context, we need to do more. For a start, we need to carefully re-examine how the word 'family' has been defined in previous research, and carefully evaluate the relevance of such definitions for the contemporary South African context. In addition to considerations relating to contextual relevance, South African researchers would also benefit from attempts to adopt more sophisticated research designs in order to more precisely delineate the relationship between substance abuse and child maltreatment.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 12 –16 (2006)More Less
In Collings' (this issue) reply to Ovens' article on the linkages between parental substance abuse and child abuse, a number of valid points are made with regard to future studies of familial substance abuse and the link to child abuse or neglect. The use of multivariate forms of analysis to study parental substance abuse and child abuse is in fact critical to a wider understanding of the problem, especially within a multidimensional paradigm. In essence South African researchers need to apply far more sophisticated research designs when studying the relationship between substance abuse and child maltreatment. The concept of family and the structures thereof vary across different communities and racial groups, with these differences having implications for research dealing with family dynamics. Thus, the concept of the family must first be defined and contextualised before such research is undertaken.
Author Lesiba BaloyiSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 17 –25 (2006)More Less
This article explores the application of Teddy Bear Therapy (TBT) as a new way of dealing with traumatised children. Children's problems have not been appropriately and adequately addressed, because existing theories have been adopted from theories related to adults. In addressing these theoretical and practical treatment deficiencies, the basis of both play and story-telling as treatment methods were explored. Teddy Bear Therapy's therapeutic effectiveness is illustrated by means of two case studies: the traumatic impact of a car hijack experience on two young children (siblings aged three and five) and a five year old child who presented with a persistent condition of encopresis. In both cases, the symptomatic behaviour was addressed by means of Teddy Bear Therapy, resulting in a rapid and dramatic clearing up of the symptoms in only three therapeutic sessions. Follow-up sessions conducted several months later confirmed the effectiveness of this therapeutic intervention. As the existing literature is seldom based on the development level and experiences of children in particular, Teddy Bear therapy presents a breakthrough in the treatment of children's problems in our diverse South African context.
A comparative analysis of imprisoned mothers' perceptions regarding separation from their children : case studies from Scotland and South Africa : research articleAuthor Nicolien Du PreezSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 26 –35 (2006)More Less
Women are a minority within the prison community worldwide. Research has shown that this may lead to their experiencing problems that are specific to women, such as structural discrimination, different security arrangements and fewer opportunities for work and obtaining of qualifications. Furthermore, most prison systems experience high rates of female offenders with problems of substance abuse, and psychosomatic and mental difficulties. Overall these factors complicate the way correctional managers deal with female offenders. This article shows that these factors can be elucidated further by comparative research. For comparative purposes Scotland, as an example of an established democratic country, and South Africa, as an example of an emerging democracy with a deeply rooted history of oppression, were chosen as the country sites for this research. Focus group studies with sentenced female offenders were conducted by the researcher at the Cornton Vale female prison in Scotland and at female prisons in South Africa. A number of sentenced female offenders with minor children outside the prison were selected for in-depth interviews in both countries. The comparative study found that female prisoners with minor children outside prison suffered additional pains of imprisonment in both countries. However, it concluded that more effective practical steps to alleviate these negative aspects were taken in Scotland and that South African correctional services could benefit from following the Scottish example.
Development of a training programme for state prosecutors to address revictimisation of the sexually abused child during forensic procedures : research articleSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 36 –47 (2006)More Less
In this paper the researchers developed a training programme for state prosecutors working with sexually abused children during court procedures. The study commenced with a literature study focusing on: (a) the person-centred approach as a scientific foundation for the study, (b) the long-term effects of sexual abuse, and c) the revictimization of sexually abused children during forensic procedures. The empirical study was a combined qualitative-quantitative study. The researchers started with the qualitative study, where prosecutors dealing with sexual abuse cases were interviewed to determine their training needs in this field of service delivery. After training needs were determined, a training programme was compiled. This training programme formed part of the quantitative study and was implemented during a training session for prosecutors at the Justice College in Pretoria. The programme was evaluated using pre- and post-test questionnaires
Child abuse in schools and the law in Zimbabwe : current issues and challenges in the new millennium : research articleAuthor Almon ShumbaSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 48 –60 (2006)More Less
Current research on child abuse shows that local and international criminal laws seem to have failed to offer children sufficient protection against child abuse globally and in Zimbabwe. Children are the most vulnerable major subgroup least capable of assuring their own welfare. On the contrary, child abuse laws the world over including Zimbabwe, appear to be lenient to child abuse perpetrators instead of protecting the victims. Few offenders are being convicted. Most aspects of the existing legal position need to be revised so that children can live in a safer environment. This study seeks to: (a) analyze current local and international laws that protect pupils against child abuse; (b) outline procedures followed in the courts of law, and (c) recommend measures that could be taken to address this problem by the courts of law. Challenges faced by local and international laws in their pursuit of protecting pupils against child abuse in Zimbabwe and the world over have been discussed in detail in this paper.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 7, pp 61 –67 (2006)More Less
Research on the issue of recantation in child sexual abuse represents a body of literature which is still pretty much in its infancy. This paper examines theoretical and empirical literature relevant to the topic and presents guidelines for primary and secondary prevention. Case study material is presented to illustrate the value of a child-centred approach to understanding recantation, and the paper concludes with recommendations and cautionary comments for helping professionals who are likely to encounter the issue of child sexual abuse retraction in the course of their professional activities.