Die ondersoek na beweerde seksuele misbruik van voorskoolse kinders: Verantwoordelikhede van forensiese maatskaplike werkers in die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens

Benham, Melanie Danelle (2018-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Children are the most vulnerable group of people in the society to be exposed to sexual abuse. In most of the cases the sexual abuse of pre-school children are not disclosed immediately. Consequently the child is often the only witness of the sexual abuse that occurred because of the lack of medical evidence and witnesses. The risk of the pre-school child to be exposed to sexual abuse because is higher because of their developmental phase. Different challenges regarding the cognitive, language and moral development of the pre-school child must be kept in mind during the forensic investigation. Therefore the development phase of the child must be kept in mind by the forensic social worker otherwise it can seem that the information obtained from the child is not trustworthy. Different role players like investigating officers and state prosecutors are involved in the investigation of alleged sexual abuse of pre-school children. Each role player has a specific responsibility in the investigation of the alleged sexual abuse. The aim of this study is to develop an understanding of the responsibilities of the forensic social worker in SAPS regarding the forensic investigation of pre-school children that was allegedly sexually abused. This study has followed a qualitative research approach. An exploratory and descriptive research design was used, because little information regarding the topic is available and this research wanted to answer specific questions about the topic. A purposive sample that consisted of twelve (n=12) forensic social workers was used. Data was collected by means of a semi-structured interview schedule during the interviews with participants. The most prominent findings and conclusions of the study is that forensic social workers must have specific qualifications and experience to conduct forensic investigations. The responsibilities of the forensic social workers during the investigation include assessment, report writing, expert witnessing and assistant with statement taking. It is also important to keep the developmental phase of the pre-school child in mind, because it can have an impact on the forensic investigation. Recommendations for future research include further research to determine the responsibilities of role players like investigation officers and state prosecutors in the investigation of pre-school children that was sexually abused.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kinders is die mees weerlose groep in die gemeenskap wat blootgestel kan word aan seksuele misbruik. Omdat die seksuele misbruik by die voorskoolse kind in die meeste gevalle nie onmiddellik onthul word nie, gee dit aanleiding tot ‘n gebrek aan mediese bewyse en sonder enige ooggetuies is die kind se getuienis dikwels die enigste bewys dat seksuele misbruik wel plaasgevind het. Die risiko van die voorskoolse kind om aan seksuele misbruik blootgestel te word, is hoër vanweë die ontwikkelingstadium waarin hulle is. Daar is verskillende uitdagings met betrekking tot die voorskoolse kind se kognitiewe, taal en morele ontwikkeling wat wat gedurende die forensiese ondersoek in ag geneem moet word. Die forensiese maatskaplike werker moet daarom die ontwikkelingstadium van die kind in gedagte hou en die kind dienooreenkomstig hanteer, sodat die inligting wat van die voorskoolse kind verkry word, nie as ongeloofwaardig beskou word nie. Verskillende rolspelers soos ondersoekbeamptes en staatsaanklaers is by die ondersoek van beweerde seksuele misbruik by voorskoolse kinders betrokke. Elke rolspeler het ‘n spesifieke verantwoordelikheid wanneer die beweerde seksuele misbruik ondersoek word. Die doel van hierdie studie is om begrip te ontwikkel vir die verantwoordelikhede van die forensiese maatskaplike werkers in die SAPD om forensiese ondersoeke van voorskoolse kinders wat vermoedelik seksueel misbruik is, te doen. Die studie het ‘n kwalitatiewe navorsingsbenadering gevolg. ‘n Verkennende en beskrywende navorsingsontwerp is benut, aangesien daar min inligting oor die onderwerp bestaan en die navorsing poog om spesifieke vrae ten opsigte van die onderwerp te beantwoord. ‘n Doelbewuste steekproef wat uit twaalf (n=12) forensiese maatskaplike werkers bestaan het, is gebruik. ‘n Semi-gestruktureerde vraelys is tydens die onderhoude aan die deelnemers voorgelê om data in te samel. Die vernaamste bevindinge en gevolgtrekkings vanuit die studie is dat forensiese maatskaplike werkers oor spesifieke kwalifikasies en ervaring moet beskik om forensiese ondersoeke te doen. Die verantwoordelikhede van forensiese maatskaplike werkers by ‘n forensiese ondersoek sluit in assessering, verslagskrywing, getuienislewering en hulp met die neem van verklarings. Dit is ook belangrik om die ontwikkelingstadium van die voorskoolse kind in gedagte te hou aangesien dit ‘n impak het op die forensiese ondersoekproses. Aanbevelings vir verdere navorsing sluit onder meer in navorsing om die verantwoordelikhede van rolspelers, soos dié van ondersoekbeamptes en staatsaanklaers in die ondersoekproses van voorskoolse kinders wat seksueel misbruik is, te bepaal.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103272
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