An information kit for families affected by child sexual abuse and reported to the East Rand Child Protection Unit
Maleka, Setlaiso Caroline Poppy
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Child sexual abuse is a very sensitive issue that causes trauma and damage to the victims. This does not affect only the victims, but their families and the society at large. It is sometimes difficult for the society to support the victims of child sexual abuse. It then becomes a burden on the families because they lack information on how to deal with their sexually abused children. The families do not have knowledge of forensic social work and it becomes difficult for them to understand the process of forensic investigation. The information kit for families affected by child sexual abuse will empower the families with knowledge on the process of forensic investigation. This will also help to prepare both the children and their families for what will happen after the case has been reported to the Child Protection Unit. They will also be able to know their expectations when it comes to the court proceedings. An improved understanding will help the child prepare for testifying. Developing an information kit and reader–friendly guidelines will assist in relieving the stress on parents and strengthen them in giving their children the necessary support. Further research should be conducted on families’ understanding of forensic investigation and the court proceedings involved when a child has been sexually abused. Currently there is little data on forensic social work in South Africa, due to the fact that forensic social work is still quite a new field in our country. The researcher thus identified a need for conducting a qualitative study with the parents of sexually abused children whose cases had been reported to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for forensic investigation at the time of the study. The aim of this study was to develop an information kit for families who were affected by child sexual abuse in order to give them a better understanding of forensic investigations in such cases. An interview schedule was developed with the purpose of confirming whether the families understood what they would be going through during the whole process. From the research it was evident that forensic social work was something new to the respondents as it was difficult for some of them to give detailed responses to the questions. It became clear that the families of sexually abused children are in need of relevant and clear information on forensic social work, the nature of forensic investigations and associated procedures.
- ETD@PUK