Types of abuse

Child Abuse

The definition as contained in the Children’s Act is as follows:-

“abuse”, in relation to a child, means any form of harm or ill-treatment deliberately inflicted on a child, and includes-

  1. (a) assaulting a child or inflicting any other form of deliberate injury to a child;
  2. (b) sexually abusing a child or allowing a child to be sexually abused;
  3. (c) bullying by another child;
  4. (d) a labour practice that exploits a child; or

(e) exposing or subjecting a child to behaviour that may harm the child psychologically or emotionally

Best interests of child paramount

9. In all matters concerning the care, protection and well-being of a child the standard that the child’s best interest is of paramount importance, must be applied.

Financial Abuse

1.Economic or financial abuse aims to limit a victim’s ability to access help. Tactics may include controlling the finances; withholding money or credit cards; making someone unreasonably account for money spent/petrol used; exploiting assets; withholding basic necessities; preventing someone from working; deliberately running up debts; forcing someone to work against their will and sabotaging someone’s job. It can also include the withholding of finances for medical attention after being injured in a domestic violence episode.

2.Once victims leave their perpetrator, they often face the reality of the extent to which the abuse has taken away their autonomy. The victim usually has very little or no money of their own and few people on whom they can rely when seeking help. This is one of the greatest obstacles facing victims of domestic violence, and most likely the strongest factor that discourages them from leaving their abusers. Lacking financial resources is not the only obstacle, victims of domestic violence often lack specialised skills, education, and the training that are necessary to find gainful employment. They most likely have several children to support.

Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse is the systematic perpetration of malicious and explicit nonphysical acts against an intimate partner, child, or dependent adult. This can include threatening the physical health of the victim and the victim’s loved ones, controlling the victim’s freedom, and effectively acting to destabilize or isolate the victim. Psychological abuse frequently occurs prior to or concurrently with physical or sexual abuse. Most men who physically abuse their intimate partners also psychologically abuse them. Psychologically abusive people are more likely to use a weapon against their partners, have prior criminal arrests, abuse substances, and have employment problems.

Children who are victims of or exposed to psychological abuse are more likely to be involved with psychological abuse as adults. Incidents of child physical abuse are more frequent when accompanied by psychological abuse. Children who have been psychologically abused are more likely to experience behavior problems during their childhood and develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder later.

Individuals who are victims of psychological abuse are more likely to experience poor physical health, difficulty concentrating, emotional and/or mental impairment, poor work or school performance, higher likelihood of substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and/or suicide attempts

The most common psychological effects of physical abuse include depression, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, panic attacks, and anxiety.

Verbal Abuse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Verbal abuse (also called reviling or verbal attack) is a form of abusive behaviour

Verbal abuse is best described as an ongoing emotional environment organized by the abuser for the purposes of control. The underlying factor in the dynamic of verbal abuse is the abuser’s low regard for him or herself. The abuser attempts to place their victim in a position to believe similar things about him or herself, a form of warped projection.

Although cultural pressures against male reporting of abuse may create a response or non-response bias resulting in an underestimation of the number and proportion of victims who are male. In any event, verbal abuse may occur to a person of any gender, race, culture, size, sexual orientation, or age.

Typically, verbal abuse increases in intensity over time and often escalates into physical abuse as well.

During intense verbal abuse, the victim usually suffers from low self-worth and low self-esteem. As a result, victims may fall into clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Despite the fact that it is the most common type of abuse, verbal abuse is generally not taken as seriously as other forms of abuse, because there is no visible proof. However in reality, moderate to severe cases of verbal abuse (especially in which the victim is under constant attack) can be more detrimental to a person’s health than physical abuse.

Verbal abuse starting from a young age contributes to inferiority complex, machismo attitudes, and other negative behaviors that plague many people into senior age.

People who feel they are being attacked by a verbal abuser on a regular basis should seek professional counsel and remove themselves from the negative environment whenever possible. Staying around verbal abusers is damaging for a person’s overall well-being, and all steps to change the situation should be pursued.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse Definition. Sexual abuse is any sort of non-consensual sexual contact and includes both sexual harassment and rape. Sexual abuse can happen to men or women of any age.

If you are a sexual abuse survivor, or you think you may have been a victim of sexual abuse, peer support can be very helpful. Remember that it was not your fault.

Sexual abuse by a partner/intimate can include derogatory name calling, refusal to use contraception, deliberately causing unwanted physical pain during sex, deliberately passing on sexual diseases or infections and using objects, toys, or other items (e.g. baby oil or lubricants) without consent and to cause pain or humiliation.

Rape is the forceful act of sexual intercourse against a person’s will or consent. The focus of rape is power or anger and not sex. Rape is frequently carried out by someone known to the victim and can even occur within a marriage. Anal intercourse, which may accompany rape, is called sodomy. Fellatio, oral sex, may also be a forced act that accompanies a rape. Threats of serious bodily harm or death are often connected to a rape. Following an assault, victims of sexual abuse will often feel like they have been ruined by the horrible, painful event. Victims of rape may also wrongly blame themselves for somehow getting into a situation where the assault occurred.Sexual harassment includes any unwelcomed sexual advances or unwanted sexual contact by another adult. People involved in sexual harassment may also tell sexual jokes, ask for sexual favors, and/or use crude or abusive language in the presence of someone else who is not inviting the behavior. Victims of harassment may wrongly blame themselves for having somehow contributed to the harassment.

What are some of the statistics of sexual abuse of adults?

  • In more than one-third of all cases of rape, the male, the female, or both were using alcohol.
  • Relatives of the victim commit about 5 percent of all rapes.
  • Strangers commit only about one-half of all rapes; the other half are caused by men who are known to their victims.
  • According to the report by the United Nations Office on Crimes and Drugs for the period 1998–2000, South Africa was ranked first for rapes per capita. (Source)
  • In 1998, one in three of the 4,000 women questioned in Johannesburg was raped, according to Community Information, Empowerment and Transparency (CIET) Africa. (Source)
  • While women’s groups in South Africa estimate that a woman is raped every 26 seconds, the South African police estimates that a woman is raped every 36 seconds. (Source)

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harrasment is a form of sexual abuse that happens daily in the work place. As stated in the Labour Relations Act 1995 there is a CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE ON THE HANDLING OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASES. The objective of this code is to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace and to provide the appropriate procedures to deal with the problem and prevent its recurrence. It also encourages and promotes the development and implementation of policies and procedures that will lead to the creation of workplaces that are free of sexual harassment, where employers and employees respect one another’s integrity and dignity, their privacy, and their right to equity in the workplace.

Although the code is intended to guide employers and employees, the perpetrators and victims of sexual harassment may include:

In terms of the act the definition of sexual harrasment is as follows:-

(1) Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. The unwanted nature of sexual harassment distinguishes it from behaviour that is welcome and mutual.

(2) Sexual attention becomes sexual harassment if:

  • The behaviour is persisted in, although a single incident of harassment can constitute sexual harassment; and/or
  • The recipient has made it clear that the behaviour is considered offensive; and/or
  • The perpetrator should have known that the behaviour is regarded as unacceptable.

The forms of sexual harrasment as prescribed by the act is as follows:-

(1) Sexual harassment may include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct, but is not limited

Physical conduct of a sexual nature includes all unwanted physical contact, ranging from touching to sexual assault and rape, and includes a strip search by or in the presence of the opposite sex.

Verbal forms of sexual harassment include unwelcome innuendoes, suggestions and hints, sexual advances, comments with sexual overtones, sex-related jokes or insults or unwelcome graphic comments about a person’s body made in their presence or directed toward them, unwelcome and inappropriate enquiries about a person’s sex life, and unwelcome whistling directed at a person or group of persons.

Non-verbal forms of sexual harassment include unwelcome gestures, indecent exposure, and the unwelcome display of sexually explicit pictures and objects.

Quid pro quo harassment occurs where an owner, employer, supervisor, member of management or co-employee, undertakes or attempts to influence the process of employment, promotion, training, discipline, dismissal, salary increment or other benefit of an employee or job applicant, in exchange for sexual favours.

(2) Sexual favouritism exists where a person who is in a position of authority rewards only those who respond to his/her sexual advances, whilst other deserving employees who do not submit themselves to any sexual advances are denied promotions, merit rating or salary increases.

Each work place should have a sexual harrasment policy on place and each employee should be notified of this.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse consists of anything one person does to another that causes physical pain. This includes slapping, pinching, punching, pushing, throwing objects at another person, assaulting someone with an object or anything that brings about physical pain or discomfort to another.

Most individuals are surprised when they become a victim of physical abuse. Women or men who may have been physically abused by their partner in the past may feel surprised when it happens again. Other victims may walk around knowing that their partner may become physically abusive at any time. Some victims take on guilt about the physical abuse they are receiving, as if they are somehow to blame. However, there are victims of domestic violence who live in denial that they are in an abusive relationship. Some abused individuals may even make excuses for their partner who is abusing them.

Some women are intimidated and/or manipulated into not reporting the abuse they are receiving out of concern for another person. These women may find they are in a relationship with a batterer who is threatening harm to their children, parents, extended family or even to himself through threats of suicide. These women believe that their abuser will carry out his threats.

Many men are intimidated into not reporting physical abuse they are receiving from their female partner because they feel much shame. Many men are taught from a young age that they should be strong and tough. Men may also choose to stay in a physically abusive relationship is out of concern for his children. He feels it is necessary to stay with an abusive wife so the children do not become her victims.

If this happens to you find the necessary help by contacting your nearest SAPS, court or organisation that works with abuse. Alternatively contact Ukukhanya on 0218500061 during office hours or via fb or by sending an e-mail to ukukhanya.reception@gmail.com or ukukhanya.hilda@gmail.com


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