Child Sexual Abuse CONTENT PAGE 1. Introduction Page 1 2. Case Study Page 1 3. How this Affects learnersPage 2 4. Policies and ProceduresPage 2 5. Raising Awareness Page 3 6. Conclusion Page 3 7. ReferencesPage 4 Appendix 1. INTRODUCTION Research indicates that 1 out of every 4 children will be the victim of sexual abuse before reaching age 18 Child sexual abuse can be described as any form of sexual activity with a child by an adult, with or without consent.
According to the Employment of Educators Act Sexual contact between educators and learners is illegal regardless of the willingness or concent or age of the learners. Sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to, showing a child pornographic materials, placing the child’s hand on another person’s genitals, touching a child’s genitals, and/or penetration of any orifice of a child’s body (mouth, vagina, anus) with a penis, finger, or an object of any sort. Penetration does not have to occur for it to be sexual abuse, (Munro. 000). In South African schools, thousands of girls of every race and economic group are encountering sexual violence and harassment that impede their access to education. The extent of the problem in our opinion is often not realized as thousands of cases are not reported. It is estimated that Teachers are responsible for a third of all rapes of schoolgirls in South Africa, this according to a survey by the country’s medical research council In this paper, we will use a case study in order to address the issue of hild sexual abuse in an Umlazi school. We will describe the policies and procedure that needs to be undertaken when faced with a situation like this one. As well as address the problems while offering preventative solutions in improving the mind set of pupils and teachers alike in the school. 2. CASE STUDY(Article attached in the Appendix) A school in Umlazi has suspended 6 teachers for allegedly having sex with school kids. The kids were allegedly rewarded with money and alcohol in exchange for sexual favors.
It is reported that one child had indeed become pregnant and had left the school. Temporary teachers have since replaced those teachers involved. It appears that some of the educators and learners alike where oblivious to the fact that this behavior was wrong. Both those learners in the school as well as the victims of child abuse by the educators needed psychological treatment to help them understand what has happened. 3. HOW THIS AFFECTS LEARNERS
It appears that some of the educators and learners alike where oblivious to the fact that this behavior was wrong. It seems like the motivating factor was that these kids come from poverty stricken areas and they received money and alcohol in exchange for sexual favors. They may have been under the influence due to the consumption of alcohol. In some cases romantic relationships developed and if indeed the end result was pregnancy for one her youth has been stolen as this is statutory rape.
Learning barriers will now be created as the children could show various signs of Emotional and psychological scaring. A distorted view of relationships has also been created and can have recurring affect in there future relationships. Poverty plays a big role in this community but still it is not an excuse. There should be more awareness raised to kids about an educator, learner relationship in light of what has happened but also in neighboring schools and communities 4. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The Employment of Educators Act, no. 76 of 1998, as amended by the Education Laws Amendment Act of 2000 is the section dealing with Serious Misconduct in Section 17 (1) states: An educator must be dismissed if she or he is guilty of: (1) Committing an act of sexual assault on a leaner, student or other employee: (2) Having a sexual relationship with a learner of the school where she/he is employed: (3) Seriously assaulting, with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm to a learner.
This has already been done and replacement teachers have been employed, never the less In the event that one of us are faced with this situation it is important to understand that we have a duty of care to our learners and teachers alike. In Summary the Following steps also need to be followed. •In collaboration with the SAPS and a social worker, the learner must be safeguarded against direct contact with the alleged offender. • The case must be treated with confidentiality and kids must be informed of the procedures that will now follow. The relevant t
ole players should be contacted these include The local welfare organisation; psychologist; Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit SAPS, Labor Relations, when employees are the alleged offenders; The complainant’s parents, The Department of Health and the Department of Social Services; •And a plan of action needs to be drawn up to indicate the responsibilities of each participant in the intervention process. The school principal must then report the case or incident to the Department of Education’s district office.
In the Umlazi case the relevant role players as well as the department of education has already been contacted. Learners were given the necessary help to deal with what has happened and awareness was raised. The learners and their parents should be informed of the steps taken by the role-players and the outcome of the investigation. However the implications of the abuse will now have to be monitored Each student will handle it differently and therefore the new educators will need to monitor the learner’s emotional, mental and physical health, and discuss it with there parents, and refer the learner for further professional help if . RAISING AWARENESS Some educators don’t know the best course of action for assisting child abuse as they are not aware of the various pieces of national legislation. In Raising Awareness the following Can be done •Get the parents involved and aware, to tell their children what is wrong and what is right •Check the current staff register •There must have solid training for labor officials •Get the community involved, to help protect the children in the community •Police officials should be involved to raise awareness to parents, children and the community.
We particularly feel that the life skills program can be utilized to help teach the kids about sexual abuse and how grown ups can lure them to do certain things. Giving them the proper information is vital in there development of what is right or wrong. The also need to be taught about pride, dignity, self confidence. They need to learn how to set realistic long term and short term goals in attaining them so that they have direction. And then the can be given tasks in finding out what and how to achieve there dreams. Sport is also a way of keeping kids busy.
While some of them may have talent that will allow many kids in the township to access universities through scholarships. Teachers can show these kids the way to a successful future through hard work and never giving up Role models for example and among the many are Steven Pienaar who grew up in Westbury should be introduced to these kids so that they can see other poor people have made it. 6. CONCLUSION The Bill of Rights in the constitution Act 108 of 1996 enshrines the rights of all people. It protects and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. No person may unfairly discriminate against a learner.
All learners shall receive equal protection and treatment before the law. Every learner has the right to dignity and privacy and has the right not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhumane or degrading manner. Learners have the right to education, a clean and safe school environment. Every child should be free!! Therefore all offenders should be eradicated from these kids lives. The children need to be taught that this is not there fault and that poverty is not the end of the road and that there is way to succeed. We still can’t believe this has happened to these children, They have their whole lives in front of them.
These Elders who should known better have taken there youth, dignity, self respect and innocence away from them and dratic steps should be taken to educate the kids . 7. REFERENCES 1. Delano, L (1998) Sexual Abuse and Violence in Sub-Sahara Africa www. advocatesforyouth. org/publications/ntppm. htm Last accessed 9 May 2009 2. Education: Your rights and responsibilities. Assisting Educators Series : A brief guide to dealing with child abuse http://web. wits. ac. za/NR/rdonlyres/4390FA4F-BA6E-470B911864B6CEF099EF/0/AssistingEducatorsSeries1Abriefguidetodealingwithchildabuse. pdf Last Accessed 9 May 2009 3.
McGreal, C (2002) South African Teachers raping pupils www. news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/world/africa/1781032. stm Last accessed 9 May 2009 4. Munroe, K (2000) Incest and Child Sexual Abuse: Definitions, Perpetrators, Victims, and Effects www. whs. sa. gov. au/pub/Worker Last Accessed 9 May 2009 5. Prinsloo, S (2006) Sexual harassment and violence in South African Schools http://www. sajournalofeducation. co. za/index. php/saje/article/viewPDFInterstitial/81/59. Last Accessed 9 May 2009 6. Gauteng department of education: Procedure for dealing with suspected and confirmed cases of child abuse.