Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Volume 16, Issue 1, 2015
Volume 16, Issue 1, 2015
Testifying in court as a victim of crime for persons with little or no functional speech : vocabulary implicationsSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 16, pp 1 –14 (2015)More Less
People with disabilities are at a high risk of becoming victims of crime. Individuals with little or no functional speech (LNFS) face an even higher risk. One way of reducing the risk of remaining a victim of crime is to face the alleged perpetrator in court as a witness - therefore it is important for a person with LNFS who has been a victim of crime to have the required vocabulary to testify in court. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the core and fringe legal vocabulary required by illiterate victims of crime, who have little or no functional speech, to testify in court as witnesses. A mixed-method, exploratory sequential design consisting of two distinct phases was used to address the aim of the research. The first phase was of a qualitative nature and included two different data sources, namely in-depth semi-structured interviews (n=3) and focus group discussions (n=22). The overall aim of this phase was to identify and describe core and fringe legal vocabulary and to develop a measurement instrument based on these results. Results from Phase 1 were used in Phase 2, the quantitative phase, during which the measurement instrument (a custom-designed questionnaire) was socially validated by 31 participants. The results produced six distinct vocabulary categories that represent the legal core vocabulary and 99 words that represent the legal fringe vocabulary. The findings suggested that communication boards should be individualised to the individual and the specific crime, based on both the core and fringe legal vocabulary. It is believed that the vocabulary lists developed in this study act as a valid and reliable springboard from which communication boards can be developed. Recommendations were therefore made to develop an Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) Resource Tool Kit to assist the legal justice system.
Author Steven J. CollingsSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 16, pp 15 –22 (2015)More Less
The focus of research on child abuse can be understood with respect to: the types of abuse which are targeted for prevention, the types of prevention efforts made, and/or the systems levels at which prevention efforts are directed. This paper briefly reviews literature on each of these three dimensions of prevention, before going on to explore how effectively these dimensions have been addressed in research articles published in the journal of Child Abuse Research: A South African Journal (CARSA). Study findings indicate that articles published in CARSA tend to be characterised by a broad prevention focus, with temporal shifts in the focus of prevention tending to reflect temporal shifts in the focus of prevention efforts which have taken place in the international literature in recent years. A number of specific prevention foci which have been less comprehensively addressed in CARSA are identified and discussed.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 16, pp 23 –39 (2015)More Less
Virtual worlds have become a regular destination for children. Easy access and affordable fees enable children of all walks of life to participate in virtual worlds. Games specifically, appear to be a great attraction for young children in their use of the internet. While virtual worlds provide entertainment to many children, it also offers opportunities for sexual child offenders to access contact with vulnerable children. Aggressors can exploit all the possible communication channels of virtual worlds (chat, messengers, video and audio) to perpetrate virtual sexual abuse (sexual age play, virtual rape and pornography) via avatars, and traditional forms of online sexual abuse (exposure to sexually explicit/harmful content, the creation, storage and distribution of real child pornography, and online solicitation which can lead to three devastating contact crimes: rape, sex tourism and child trafficking). Devoid of geographical borders and lacking in a universally agreed upon and accepted definition of both online child sexual abuse and virtual sexual abuse, law enforcement can do little should an abuse become known. This is largely due to disparities in the laws that govern each country. It becomes imperative for parents and caregivers to engage with their children in discussions of safety and for the collaboration of parents, schools, virtual world operators and law enforcement to join in efforts to prevent such abuse, especially in the case of child-headed homes where there is no primary parental supervision. This article aims to provide an understanding of how virtual worlds facilitate such abuse, and provides measures to counter such abuse; it does not aim to offer an analysis of such thereof.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 16, pp 40 –54 (2015)More Less
The high incidents of child sexual abuse in South Africa continuously pose great challenges for both the South African Police Service (SAPS) and child care institutions (CCIs) in South Africa. While a vast data base of literature on the causes and consequences of child sexual abuse has been published over the years, the policing of child sexual crimes by means of an intelligence-led approach has been ignored. In this light, this article aims to reflect on the cooperation between the SAPS and professionals in child care institutions as a source of crime intelligence to improve the prevention and investigation of child sexual crimes by means of intelligence-led interventions. The data for the article is based on research on the extent of cooperation between the SAPS and professionals in child care institutions. The research was undertaken among a sample of delegates from child care institutions who attended The South African Professional Society on the Abuse of Children's (SAPSAC) 13th and 14th Annual National Conference, in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Data was gathered through the administration of questionnaires. The sample included 92 child care professionals from the child care sphere in South Africa who attended these conferences. The research findings indicate that effective and efficient cooperation between the SAPS and professionals in child care institutions as a source of crime intelligence could improve the prevention and investigation of child sexual crimes by means of intelligence-led interventions. As a result, it is recommended that sexual crimes committed against children should be addressed using a multi-disciplinary approach to facilitate crime intelligence-led interventions.
Author Corene De WetSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 16, pp 55 –63 (2015)More Less
The aim of this paper is to report on findings from a media analysis of the policing of school violence in the Western Cape, South Africa. This paper uses 41 articles, published in the Cape Times over a period of two-and-a-half years as a data source. The articles were retrieved from the SAMedia database. The media analysis illustrates privately owned news media's dual role, namely to act as watchdog for public interest in a democracy and to protect the financial interests of its owners and shareholders. The study moreover highlights two contrasting arguments regarding the policing of school violence, namely that an increased presence of Metro Police officers and members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) in schools may result in (1) the perpetuation of inequalities, the criminalisation of youths and a failure to address the root causes of school violence, and (2) the creation of a safe teaching and learning environment. Findings from this study reveal similar fears, prejudices and praises in South Africa and the USA regarding the presence of police officers in schools.