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Categories: Buddy and Me
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Hi everyone, so this morning ‘Buddy and Me’ went back out ?On the road again?. The day started with a drive out to the Florida Lubners store and, oh man, what a drive this turned out to be. I ended up driving around in circles trying to find the store because I kept being given directions from people I stopped to ask which kept sending me to the wrong arcade, but eventually I found the right one and arrived two minutes later than my scheduled time. At the store I was met by the store manager, Fiona Louis, who I have awarded the first prize of being the bubbliest, most charismatic person – Beares / Lubners staff member – I have met to date, an absolute gem. So Fiona, yes you can pack and join me on my crusade.
After a pleasant couple of hours chatting to the friendly staff of Lubners Florida, Fiona gave me explicit directions as to how to extricate myself from Florida and to get onto the Hartebeespoort Dam road without having to travel all the way back onto the Western Bypass N1 highway and go the long way around. It was great being at home for the past few weeks, but the only problem is that when you are on the road travelling to different towns virtually every day, you get into a routine and after being at home and being spoilt with breakfast in bed most mornings and having great food cooked for you – on those points, thanks May, as usual you spoilt me rotten – now I have to try and get used to my lousy cooking again and get used to having to get up in the morning to make my own coffee and toast, damn life is hard on the road.
I thoroughly enjoyed the drive out to Hartebeespoort Dam where I will be spending the next week and a half visiting all the Beares and Lubners stores in Pretoria and gathering as many opinions from the public on what they believe needs to be done to STOP the raping and sexual abuse of our children. I find it amazing that every time I pose this question to people they respond with, “They must be executed – killed – their penises should be amputated – they must be castrated”, and when I ask “Is that it, do you think by just doing this we can stop the children being raped?” and every time a coconut the response is “Yes”. I have spent literally hundreds, if not thousands of hours talking to people from all walks of life and in many diverse areas around the country as well as through 12 countries in Africa and have, since commencing this crusade, changed my mind drastically on the subject.
When I started this crusade/campaign, I was convinced that by introducing a harsh punishment system, such as the death penalty or life in jail without the possibility of parole, our problem would be solved. However after having completed the first project through Africa and having spoken to many very informed and educated people on the subject it has become excruciatingly clear that by simply introducing these punishments we will not stop the problem. I have come to realise that there are many very complicated issues involved and these issues have got to be dealt with as well, if we are serious about bringing a halt to the rape and sexual abuse of South Africa’s biggest assets, our children.
As I have previously said, I have been working on putting a paper together which outlines a detailed ‘road map’ which needs to be followed in order to accomplish the dream of bringing a halt to child rape which I hope or rather WILL present to Parliament on my arrival in Cape Town. This ‘road map’ started off with a 5 step plan and has now progressed to a 9 step plan and one of those steps involves the training of Forensic Social Workers, specifically trained to deal with child rape victims. While I was in Groblersdal I was privileged to get to meet a very special lady by the name of Corrie Ludwig who, along with me, gave a talk to a large group of kids at the local school on the various forms of abuse which kids are subjected to. Corrie told me that she, along with a group of other social workers, had been sent on a Masters course in Forensic Social work, she has sent me an e-mail explaining what this involved and exactly how it will be used to help bringing a halt to the rape and sexual abuse of children, so here is her e-mail:
I see your visit to Groblersdal was well covered by the media, and awareness are so important.
As I promised I want to give you some information on Forensic Social work. I published an article in a professional journal for Social work Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk in August 2009 Volume no 3. Some of the information in my e mail is also in this article.
On 6 May the SAPS employed Social workers to assist Child protection units with sexually abused children. At this stage no formal education was available in SA. There were private Social Workers that developed training from oversees and were training Social workers. In 2006 the University of North West started training Masters Students in specialization namely Forensic Social Work: Child sexual abuse. In SA the Social work Council is still in the process of registering specialization in Social Work.
What the job of a forensic Social Worker in SA entails still needs to be defined. Some of the Masters Students are doing there research on this specific topic. In the US however they do the following:
- Testify in court of law as expert witness. Provide requested information in general about human welfare needs of individuals, families, groups and communities e.g. what happens to the personalities of children or wives who are abused
- Systematic evaluations of individuals so that resulting information can be presented in court. Evaluations conducted to answer questions of the court e.g. Is this person responsible for his own actions. What happened in this person’s background that explains the behavior?
- Conduct investigations where criminal conduct has possibly occurred and present results to court e.g. testify about visits to the home of family whose child has been physically or sexually abused
- Recommend to courts ways to resolve, punish or rehabilitate those found guilty of crimes or negligence in civil actions e.g. after evaluating a defendant to see how he is likely to react to various punishments
- Mediate between individuals and groups who are involved in disputes or conflicts that might otherwise require extensive intervention in courtrooms e.g. marital disputes and divorce mediation
- Testify about professional standards of social work to facilitate cases of malpractice
- Educate social workers and other professions on social work and the law
In our training we are trained in all existing protocols and forensic excepted methods of forensic investigation with children.
The courts in Pretoria especially the sexual offences court do make use of our service since most forensic workers is in the area. The police have trained workers in Polokwane Johannesburg Pretoria Potchefstroom and Middelbrg as far as I know. One of my colleges has a private practice in Bloemfontein.
I am a member of a multi professional society SAPSAC South African professional Society Against Child Abuse. They have a yearly congress and give out a journal CARSA. You can contact them at:
They can also give you a lot of information. I cannot remember what else we talked about but send me a mail if you can think of any thing else.
This is pretty great and is definitely a step in the right direction, but there are still a lot of other aspects associated with the rape and sexual abuse of children which have to be addressed and soon I will publish my proposal on what I believe needs to be done to stop the scourge. But for now I still have a long way to go on this campaign and I still have many people to talk to in order to ‘fine tune’ my solution to child rape. So if you have any suggestions or opinions on what you believe needs to be done to stop the raping of the children please either e-mail me or register on this site (blog) and place your comments on the blog. After all my ‘road map’ to solving child rape is derived from the many opinions I have been given to date, so the more I get the easier it is for me to come up with the right recipe.
When I visited Soweto (22nd October day 82) and I got to meet that very dedicated police lady, Sergeant Hlatshwayo at the Protea police station, who told me of their unit, which I must admit I have never heard of being associated with the SAPS beore, namely the VEC – Victim Empowerment Centre – ‘Trauma Centre”. She has given me a copy of a report she submitted which outlines the functions the unit has recently been involved in. These functions include:
- Unit members consist of: Sergeant Hlatshwayo, Constable Molotja, Constable Sibiya, Miss Mofobokoane
- Trauma centre members distributed pamphlets with encouraging message
- Pamphlets were distributed to each and every office at Protea Glen police station
- VEC members also distributed three copies per floor at CIG building ( I think the CIG is the Criminal Information Gathering unit)
- The aim is to encourage members to keep on going when times are tough
- To make members value, honour, protect and respect their lives
- To make members observe life from different angles
- To promote positive healthy living
- Other members required explanations about the project – they were explained
Obviously the “members” referred to in the report refers to the members of the SAPS. As I said in my blog for day 82 of the project, this is one very dedicated lady and the police service, hell I nearly referred to it as “the police force” but the change of name hasn’t taken effect yet, needs more members like her and her staff. So to Sergeant Hlatshwayo keep up the great work you guys are doing.
So now my camp site is all set up at Roos se Oordt on the Crocodile River which leads into the Hartebeespoort Dam, if you click on the Bandit link on this site you can see exactly where I am camped. Now I am going to indulge in a cold frosty (Miller MGD), braai a couple of chops and boerewors and relax with a fishing rod to see if I can catch “that big one”. So until tomorrow keep well, keep all children safe.
Caring regards from
Buddy and Me (Steve Heath)
To assist with Buddy’s medical aid (recouping the R9 960.00 spent on repairs to engine and installation of new gearbox, starter motor and front suspension), please make a deposit into the following account:
|Acc name:||Buddy and Me|
|Acc number:||622 327 236 78|
|Ref:||Buddy’s medical aid|
All assistance, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated. Any excess collected above the necessary amount, will be donated to the three organisations involved in the project, namely The Teddy Bear Clinic, Bobbi Bear Foundation and The TygerBear Clinic.
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